By Gary Ratcliff, Assistant Vice Chancellor – Student Life
Student Affairs Provides Departments New Tools to Better Serve Students
Student Affairs has become a member of Student Voice, a firm that provides departments the tools to easily survey students, staff, and other clients. Through Student Voice, you can ask students about the types of services they want, how satisfied they are with your services, and what they like about your programs and events.
Another name for this type of activity is “assessment.” In a nutshell, assessment means gathering information for the purposes of improvement. The term might sound complex but with Student Voice assessment is easy.
With Student Voice you can survey students on the web or using a PDA.
One of the best features about Student Voice is that you can use handheld personal digital assistants (also known as PDAs or Palm devices) to survey students at your event venue, service counter, workshop location, and even at busy locations such as Library Walk. Student Affairs has ten loaner PDAs available.
The Financial Aid Office has taken full advantage of the Student Voice assessment tools. “Our first experience was using the PDAs in an exit survey of students,” said Ann Klein, director of Financial Aid. “We asked students a few simple questions, which they completed quickly and confidentially as they left our office. We used the PDAs next for a staff survey following a large training exercise. It was great because we had the results within minutes of the staff completing the questions.”
Student Voice is quick and easy to use!
In the past month, Financial Aid has completed several assessment projects using Student Voice. “You don’t have to be an expert to start using Student Voice,” Ann commented. “You can learn as you go. It’s very easy, simple, and user friendly.”
To launch an assessment project, just log into the Student Voice Web site then click the MyStudentVoice button and request a project.
Student Voice has a consultant to help you.
Annemieke Rice at Student Voice is assigned to help you with developing your assessment projects. “The Student Voice staff are knowledgeable, friendly, and easy to reach,” Ann observed. “Recently, our office completed a short conference phone call with Student Voice so that we could become the ‘campus experts’ on PDAs and how they are set up.”
Student Voice will format your survey either on the Web or for a PDA.
Don’t know how to develop a survey? The Student Voice consultant will do it for you. Just put the questions you want to ask your survey respondents in a Word file. Then log in to the Student Voice Web site, request a project, and Student Voice will prompt you to attach the Word file. The Student Voice consultant will take it from there. The final product is a formatted survey ready to be administered.
If you post your survey to the Web, Student Voice will notify students about your survey and send them e-mail reminders to complete it.
“We used the Student Voice tools to set up the questions, send the e-mails, and send a reminder e-mail to those who had not yet responded,” Ann said. “It was easy for students and confidential. We got some great feedback in an easy and quick way.”
Once your survey is completed, generating reports and sharing the results with colleagues is a snap.
With a click of a button, Student Voice will load your survey data into a variety of standard reports. If you want to share your results with others, Student Voice will download the results into a Word or Excel file. “I love the way the results are automatically displayed on charts or as download data,” Ann said. “It means I don’t have to have our staff compile data and make charts.”
Like to learn on your own?
Student Voice has sample surveys and training resources on its Web site!
Interested in using Student Voice?
Contact your supervisor to get a free log-in account to Student Voice. For more information on how to use Student Voice, attend the Student Affairs training session on Friday, January 23, from 10:30 a.m. to noon in the Forum Room, located on the 4th floor of Price Center East.