Presentation on theme: "Use of the Canadian Graduate & Professional Student Satisfaction Survey: A Local Approach Joan Norris, Keith Flysak & Michael Bittle Faculty of Graduate."— Presentation transcript:
Use of the Canadian Graduate & Professional Student Satisfaction Survey: A Local Approach Joan Norris, Keith Flysak & Michael Bittle Faculty of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies
CGPSS Intent: to investigate sources and levels of satisfaction among enrolled graduate students In both research-intensive and professional programs
Why measure satisfaction? HEQCO perspective (Spence, 2009; Zhao, 2012): Better understanding of graduate level education processes; Comparative analyses; Provincial & national portraits of graduate education with insights into funding, completion, institutional infrastructure & other areas of improvement; Promoting relevant changes & appropriate adaptations to maintain a competitive international edge.
But keep in mind the limitations of the CGPSS: Survey development not systematic: Many sources cited (an informal group of grad deans from Rutgers, Duke, Stanford; adopted and revised by MIT, Western & G13). Despite its origins, not often used in the U.S. Decision rules re: category and question choice unclear (“anointed correct”) Reliability and validity unknown (although factor analyses have been carried out). Different versions of the survey administered, so a true-cross sectional analysis difficult.
And be cautious: Respondents’ answers to any measure of “satisfaction” may be influenced by: affective state; current context, future expectations, past events and social comparisons Findings will be also affected by Sample size restrictions, bias, missing data, rewards and incentives to participants
Our goals at Laurier: Examine stability of positive findings regarding faculty mentoring and teaching strength; Evidence for improvement in areas identified by first two administrations; Opportunities & challenges in individual programs; Provide information for cyclical reviews, integrated budgeting and planning exercise, strategic enrolment management; Benchmarking across similarly sized institutions.
Measures and Indices (HEQCO): General Assessment General Satisfaction Benchmarks of Satisfaction
General Assessment: How would you rate the quality of-- your academic experience at this university? your student life experience at this university? your graduate/professional program at this university? your overall experience at this university?
General Satisfaction: If starting over, select same university? If starting over, same field of study? Would you recommend this university to someone considering your program? Would you recommend this university to someone in another field? If starting over, select same faculty supervisor?
Benchmarks of Satisfaction: (items selected from factor analyses by G13) Quality of Teaching (3 items) Opportunities to Present and Publish (5 items) Research Training and Career Orientation (9 items) Supportive Dissertation Advisor (12 items)
Our analyses have included: Frequencies (provided by Mosaic) Snapshots of each administration Development of unique indices modelling Cross-sectional analyses of indices Program profiles and scorecards
Cross-sectional analyses: Variables: Composite general assessment index Composite satisfaction index Four benchmark indices: Quality of Teaching Opportunities to Present and Publish Research Training and Career Orientation Supportive Dissertation Advisor
Cross-sectional analyses (2007, 2010, 2013) with comparisons to mid-size and consortium groups (one- way ANOVAS with post-hoc comparisons) Response rates: approx. 40% for research intensive programs & 25% for professional programs at each administration Separately for master’s and doctoral students: Could not separate master’s because of changes to the survey 2007: with/without thesis 2010: regular/professional 2013: research & coursework streams/professional
Snapshot results: Areas of strength include benefits of a small institution: high quality faculty mentoring and teaching Implications for expansion Areas of need included extracurricular training opportunities Development of professionalization suite of workshops, seminars, courses (ASPIRE) Co-curricular record
Cross-Sectional Results: Satisfaction ratings consistent with same- sized universities in the consortium Overall high quality maintained in the context of rapid expansion (doubling of programs)
Differences in “general” measures often difficult to detect Persona and Program profiles and scorecards may be more useful: Contribute to Strategic Enrolment Management project Developed persona groups: professional master’s, research intensive master’s, doctoral Individual program results provide insights into quality enhancement.
Supplemented satisfaction scores with: Student demographics (e.g., age, citizenship/visa status, gender, Canadian geographic area (KW, rest of ON, QC, East, West, North) Nonenrolment survey results Admissions conversion scores: efficiency rates
Analyses of Variance in Persona Groups Using Satisfaction Indices
Research master’s persona group: Supervision satisfaction strengthening; publishing/presenting opportunities need more attention
Doctoral persona group: Significant improvement in Student Life & Quality; Supervision strong; presentation/publication opportunities need attention.
Final thoughts: Pressure to assess student views of their graduate experience will remain; Satisfaction surveys provide one useful, but limited, means of assessment; CGPSS will continue to develop as an assessment method; Benchmarking may be helpful, but within- institution scorecards more likely to lead to quality improvement.
Some things do improve over time! They look pretty satisfied…