The Tale of Two Surveys: COVID-19 Student Insights Surveys

Macmillan Employee
Macmillan Employee
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The CARES Acts provided Department of Education assistance to higher education to respond to pressing student and institutional needs that have arisen due to the quick pivot from traditional classes to remote learning. Understandably, students have been academically impacted. However, almost every aspect of students’ college experiences have been impacted. Understanding intervention priorities, as well as the ultimate impact to student and institutional outcomes, is critical to colleges and universities. 

This Spring iClicker Insights offered two free surveys to help administrators quickly move beyond anecdotes, to efficiently gather data on how their students are faring. Developed by Macmillan Learning’s Analytics and Research experts, these surveys were developed to identify students’ most pressing needs and inform both intervention planning and forecasting potential ramifications to student retention. So what’s the difference between the two? 

PhoenixHarvey_0-1594289162060.pngDetermining Most Pressing Intervention Needs

The Intervention Needs survey identifies students who may be struggling in the online environment, as well as potential retention issues due to the quick transition to remote learning. Topics include: managing coursework, motivation, feelings of connectedness, as well as students’ plans to return.

skyfactor.icons_business.jpgAssessing Impact to Student Retention: 

The COVID-19 Student Outcomes survey evaluates how the quick transition to remote learning impacted students’ experience - and potential flags for student retention. Survey items include: satisfaction with academics and campus services; interactions with peers, faculty and staff; sense of belonging; overall perceptions of the institution; and plans to return. 

Below are best practices from our Analytics & Research teams for using these two assessments

  1. Administer the Intervention Needs survey ASAP after the start of the term, or after a pivot to online classes. This survey will help identify which students are most in need - and focus interventions on the most pressing student needs. 
  2. Administer the Student Outcomes survey 1-2 weeks prior to the end of the term. This survey will help you to determine how  moving or being online impacted students' experiences. 
  3. Communicate to stakeholders in other departments your intentions to deploy the survey(s) so that students won’t receive multiple requests from different departments for the same survey
  4. Share your findings with internal stakeholders. Check out this webinar recording for ideas on how to visually present data for improved clarity and impact. 

If you are interested in learning more about these COVID-19 student insights surveys or how the iClicker Insights analytics dashboard can help you identify and intervene as early as possible with the students who most need it, visit or sign up for one of our 45-minute office hour sessions being held throughout July and August. 

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