Survey Anonymity and Confidentiality

In the next few weeks I will open course evaluations for the summer 2014 academic term. This course evaluation is no different from any I have conducted during my time at USAO, but I thought it would be a good idea to talk about an important feature that their routine nature might obscure.

Plenty of people confuse the ideas of anonymity and confidentiality when they are applied to surveys and other forms of data collection. The differences between these concepts can be subtle, but understanding how your personal identity is tied in with your responses is important, not just during your time as a USAO student, but also when you enter the workforce as a professional.

After the Storm

Image by Daniel Pool

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What would motivate you?

Students! We need your help!   The Assessment and Institutional Research Offices give out prizes occasionally for participation in surveys. We want to know what would be a good prize to offer for our next survey. Answer the poll below and comment if you have any thoughts.

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What Makes These Arts Liberal Anyway?

Few universities carry more stigma in their description as the ‘liberal’ arts institution. The term is misleading at best and polarizing at worst. Made worse by the fact that even many students enrolled in colleges with a liberal arts program may not fully know what it really means.

 

This issue is more than a just marketing however, American culture has warped the idea of what being liberal is to the point that just the sound of the word regardless of context can ignite powerful emotions. Clouding the issue further is the changing nature of the arts in general.

 

The Seven Liberal Arts and their Corresponding Planets

The Seven Liberal Arts and their Corresponding Planets

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Contest Winner – NSSE #3

Laney Reason won a Google Chromecast digital streaming device for replying to our NSSE survey! The NSSE helps the university decide what it should focus on to better help students enjoy their experience. To learn more about the survey see this page and to learn about the results from previous years see this page.

photo by Daniel Pool

photo by Daniel Pool

For a chance to win your own fabulous prize, check your student email, look for our posters in the hallways, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Grading U.S. Colleges

Guest post by Brittani Mulkey

As a student of the No Child Left Behind era, I will admit that my first reaction upon hearing about a new ranking system and assessment of colleges was one of annoyance. “We’re going to be doing this again?” I said to myself. This is of course my own personal bias; testing has become a dirty word over the course of my education (which makes working in the Assessment Office pretty funny). My second gut reaction was, “This will not end well.” Again, I will have to admit to a personal bias as I tend to be a bit of a pessimist when it comes to change, particularly on such a large scale.

Photo by Andrew Schmidt

Photo by Andrew Schmidt

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Why the Government Should Grade U.S. Colleges

Recently reports began pouring into social media, gossip pages, and general news sites about a new rating system from the federal government for universities. The initiative, which has not been written yet, has created controversy in higher education circles as they fear it will impact funding. In the modern information society, however, ratings like this exist for everything from films and makeup to bottled water and podcasts. In order to stay relevant with the changing focus of how Americans evaluate a product (i.e. peer reviews) it is of paramount importance to provide this information to the general public by a nonpartisan organization at a national scale.

photo by Daniel Pool

photo by Daniel Pool

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Contest Winner – Student Satisfaction

Erin Stone took the USAO Student Satisfaction Survey and won a Roku digital streaming device! The survey was created to help identify ways for the university to increase how much students enjoy their time with us. In return for their time we rewarded a few of the participants with prizes.

Another winner with Erin Stone

Another winner with Erin Stone

For a chance to win your own fabulous prize, check your student email, look for our posters in the hallways, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.