Being a student-centered institution and always striving to improve processes for a better student experience, KIC acquired the Blue Explorance platform to improve and automate the survey activity process. Previously we used a mixture of manual surveys and publicly-available digital platforms and we recognized a need to improve the process. This academic year the KIC Institutional Quality, Effectiveness & Accreditation (IQEA) Team led a collaborative project during November, December and January to develop the surveying process on a new platform.
Project activities for the IQEA team included updating our surveys, adding a new survey covering the online class environment, requirements definition and survey building; with training and support from Blue Team; data collection & transfer by Information Technology Services (ITS); and data collection by Admissions & Registration (ARD) in collaboration with the PeopleSoft Support Team.
KIC runs surveys to improve the quality and effectiveness of our courses and the reports on survey responses are made available to faculty and management to contribute to various KIC quality enhancement processes including semester-based course assessment and annual program effectiveness reporting; they will also be incorporated into the KIC Effectiveness Report 2020-21.
The survey period for Fall Semester was launched on 08 December 2020 and concluded on 24 January 2021. All of KIC’s 1590 students on all programs and at both campuses were surveyed and the overall response count was over 57%.
Bearing in mind the change from on-campus classes to an online learning environment, where students and staff alike were adjusting to “the new normal”, the transition to a new platform added a real challenge for IQEA to continue engagement with students and achieve an acceptable response rate as a reliable basis for analysis. The team, therefore, used all possible means to reach students, with great support academic and admin departments.
Over the 7-week timeframe, students were encouraged to give their honest opinions, with an emphasis on the importance of their opinion and how this would impact on improvement plans at KIC. The following approaches were used:
• 6 emails (1 initial and 5 reminders) sent by IQEA Team via the Blue platform
• KIC social media posts and website notifications by Marketing Team
• KIC SMS shots by Student Affairs Departments
All surveys comprised of multiple-choice questions with ratings from 1 to 5 (lowest to highest), together with a comments section giving scope for students to record other views. To cater for the whole student population, including those studying on courses only taught in Arabic, the survey was published in Arabic and English languages.
IQEA team was pleased to note that students were excited by the new survey format as they shared their experiences, queries, and appreciation sent via emails and direct feedback.
While the Fall Survey activities successfully concluded in January this year, preparation for the Spring Semester round of surveys is already underway, incorporating all feedback and suggestions for further improvement.
Every response counts – we’ll catch up with you again in May!