I am just back from an exhilarating month at the AIR Annual Forum, the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in American Higher Education (NCORE), and the NASPA Assessment and Persistence Conference. Besides the obvious sharing of our work, conferences give me a chance to have more in-depth conversations with the administrators, faculty and staff that use our surveys. I heard several great suggestions about improvements we could make, and am pleased to announce two exciting enhancements to our CIRP services.
Option to Pre-Populate Student ID
Starting with the 2011 CIRP Freshman Survey, campuses that administer CIRP surveys using web surveys and that have opted for us to manage their survey administration will now be able to have Student ID numbers automatically linked with individual student survey responses by including Student ID in the excel file of student names and email addresses. This institution-provided Student ID becomes part of the institutional data file, and students will not be asked to provide an ID in the survey. This pre-populating Student ID should greatly increase: 1) the ability for institutions to match their CIRP results with institutional databases (e.g., registrar data), and 2) matching in the longitudinal reporting we provide.
Returning More Student Data
Based upon feedback from a number of institutions about web survey responses, we will now be including the responses from students who have started, but not completed, the web survey in the data returned to you. Up until now we have had a very conservative criteria for returning web survey data and for its use in our reports: requiring the student to finish the survey. This is not the case for paper surveys, which include data from students who stop at any point.
Starting with the 2011 Your First College Year Survey, institutions participating in web surveys will now receive responses from those who partially complete the instrument in their dataset and reports. In order to be considered a “partial”, the respondent must have read and accepted the informed consent, and completed at least one question on the survey. As always, we urge you to continue to employ appropriate methods of analysis, including examining your results closely to determine if your “partial” responders are different from students who completed and submitted the survey. Having the “partial” web responses increases the utility of the data on campus by allowing you to conduct more robust and meaningful analysis at your institution.
Full details regarding the implementation of these enhancements can be found in the Administration Guidelines for the surveys, but feel free to pose questions or leave comments below and we will address them here on the blog.
We understand how important it is to have a survey administration that meets the needs of your institution, and hope these two enhancements underscore our commitment to providing the tools and resources you need to utilize CIRP results at your institution.