The basic PSOL has used the same 26 questions during all four of the survey administrations that we have conducted here at LSC. I decided to make a few simple calculations that are not normally made by Noel-Levitz.
One thing that they do with the data is aggregate them into five separate categories, such as Enrollment Services, Academic Services, etc. It seemed to me that you could also get an overall feel for student satisfaction by calculating the average satisfaction score of all 26 items. This simple average seems somewhat relevant to me as a measure of overall student satisfaction, and is probably more relevant than a couple of the PSOL overall satisfaction survey questions – such as whether their expectations have been met, exceeded, or not.
The chart above (click to enlarge) indicates the average scores over the four survey periods for students of LSC Online. I think it’s instructive to see that the average satisfaction score has increased each time on a year-over-year comparison. I realize that there is still an issue about whether the rights things (most important ones) are increasing in satisfaction rating, but I do think that this is still something worth paying attention to.
This is cross-posted from my e-learning blog: Desire2Blog
The chart below shows the results over the past three years to the following statement:
The online course delivery platform (Desire2Learn or D2L) is reliable. (click photo to enlarge)
The PSOL is the main instrument that we use to gather information from students about the online programs and services that we provide. In two of the last three years, reliability of the VLE platform (we all use Desire2Learn) has been rated as the most important factor out of the 30 (31 this year) questions asked of all students. The satisfaction rating (6.01 in 2008), is also one of the highest scoring. This year it comes in with the 2nd highest satisfaction rating out of 31 statements, with first place going to “Registration for online courses is convenient.” (rating of 6.21)
I realize that the reliability factor does not capture all of the pertinent information about a VLE, but clearly it is an important one. Credit for the high student ratings goes both to Desire2Learn for the product development as well as to the MnSCU Office of the Chancellor staff who actually host and troubleshoot the service for our several hundred thousand user account holders.
Congratulations are in order for these high marks related to student satisfaction.
NOTE: the survey uses a 7 point scale where 6.0 is satisfied, 7.0 is very satisfied, 5.0 is somewhat satisfied, and 4.0 is neutral. The other 29 items rated below the D2L item ranged in satisfaction scores from 5.96 to 5.12.
Since we used the PSOL for three years in a row, we are able to study trends and changing attitudes. Of course we’re also looking for evidence of satisfaction increases that might come from improvements in services that we have tried to implement. This post is intended to simply look at the overall changes in the 26 basic items in the PSOL. Looking at the directions and magnitudes of the changes in the items we see this overall picture:
- 5 items showed decreased satisfaction (nothing greater than a .07 decrease)
- 1 item showed no change
- 5 items showed increased satisfaction of less than .10 rating points
- 15 items showed increased satisfaction of .10 or greater (12 were .14 or greater)
I selected a .10 increase in rating points as significant, although a case can be made that it takes a bit more than that (maybe .14 or .15) to show a truly significant increase in the level of satisfaction.
The two charts below show those items that had the greatest increases in student satisfaction from 2004 to 2006.
The full survey text of the items above:
26. The bookstore provides timely service to students. (.39 increase)
14. I receive timely information on the availability of financial aid. (.37 increase)
10. This institution responds quickly when I request information. (.26 increase)
The next three highest increases are shown below.
The full survey text of the three items above:
23. Billing and payment procedures are convenient for me.
05. My program advisor helps me work toward career goals.
16. Appropriate technical assistance is readily available.