Magazine article University Business

Using Student Satisfaction Surveys to Inform University Decisions: The School of Business at Elon University Engages Skyfactor to Gain Unparalleled Strategic Insight

Magazine article University Business

Using Student Satisfaction Surveys to Inform University Decisions: The School of Business at Elon University Engages Skyfactor to Gain Unparalleled Strategic Insight

Article excerpt

Institution leaders may think they understand how students feel about their college experience, but truly gaining insight into student impressions of program efficacy and quality of facilities is an intensive undertaking. When the Martha and Spencer Love School of Business at Elon University was applying for accreditation with the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) in 2000, the college's administrators needed to develop a continuous improvement strategy. Something comprehensive was necessary to define exactly how to keep students--which number 6,000 across the North Carolina university--satisfied year after year.

"There are indirect measures for assurance of learning," says Scott Buechler, associate dean and associate professor of business communications. "A satisfaction survey can fulfill that and inform continuous improvement strategies."

The satisfaction survey determined to be the most effective in gaining the type of information desired by School of Business administrators was Skyfactor, formerly EBI MAP-Works. Skyfactor's Benchworks program assessments are professionally developed, validated and rooted in research to ensure students are being asked the right questions. Answers are provided in an intuitive reporting dashboard that gives actionable insight to better serve students and improve campus life and programs. College and university leaders can see exactly where they are succeeding, as well as direct evidence of effectiveness. Areas of weakness are easily identifiable through specific recommendations for improvement.

"The reports do a great job of correlating overall satisfaction with the major drivers of satisfaction," says Buechler.

For the School of Business, Benchworks covers 21 different factors. Reports also provide comparative analysis, so Buechler can see how students at similar institutions respond.

"Our scores on Instruction in Ethics were lower than we wanted and lower than those of our peers," he says. …

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