Saturday, December 29, 2012

A Simple Test for Student Satisfaction

Sometimes, measuring the level of student satisfaction with their school experience is difficult.

With surveys, there may be pressure (implied or otherwise) on students to "get the right answer."  If you decide to talk with students in a more informal way, depending on your current relationship with them, you may have trouble with students not wanting to "open up" about how they feel about school.

Here is a simple test that I use to take the temperature of student satisfaction.  It is not exactly scientific, but I have found it to be a fairly good measure - and it is completely noninvasive.  In other words, students have no idea you are actually getting feedback from them when you do it.

1.  Choose an area of the campus and a time when students are likely to be gathering or moving.  Good examples here include: lockers areas between classes, before, or after school or the cafeteria during lunch.

2.  Walk through the area and make a mental note of how many students are smiling, laughing, or engaging with each other.

3.  Walk through again and note how many students initiate engagement with you.

4.  Do another pass and initiate contact yourself.  How many of those students seemed comfortable with you?

You can probably accomplish this test with less than 4 passes, but the idea is to get a sense of each of those 4 categories.

The more smiling, happy, engaging students you see, generally the more satisfied they are with their school experience.

Again, not very scientific, but worth trying out.

P.S.  It is also a great way for teachers to measure class satisfaction in real time!
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