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Hey friend Sara!

Can you elaborate more on this statement:  Just be careful of the number of
questions on your survey.

wOO HoO!
M.E. McWilliams
AARC Tutoring Center Director
FACEBOOK US!
Stephen F. Austin State University
936 468 1439

The views and opinions expressed in this message are my own and do not
necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Stephen F. Austin State
University, its Board of Regents, or the State of Texas.


-----Original Message-----
From: Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Sara Weertz
Sent: Monday, April 30, 2012 11:25 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Questions for a focus group of students who didn't come for
tutoring

John,

Several have offered excellent suggestions for focus group/survey questions.
I would like to offer some practical considerations. The first is that focus
groups and surveys are two different instruments--a focus group is a
collaborative effort and a survey is individual. Second, unless you take
your focus group and survey into the classroom, both provide low response
rates that can lead to sampling bias. You might want to consider using both
to collect student feedback. You can use the same line of questioning on
each with follow-up questions and probes for the focus group and
Likert-scale ratings for the survey. 

Second, there are pros and cons to both instruments. Focus groups are, hands
down, the best way to collect student feedback, allowing you to ask direct,
open-ended questions as well as follow-ups. Focus group participants get to
see and hear what other students are saying, which often spurs them to
respond and feed off their classmates' responses. You, as well, get to see
and hear the students, which plays a big role with your follow-up questions.
Focus groups are, however, labor-intensive (it takes a lot of prep to make
them look effortless). Done properly, you set a date, invite participants,
provide an agreement that documents the participants' understanding of the
focus group. Not only should you take notes during the focus group (scribes
are a good idea), you should tape the focus group conversation for later
review and analysis. With all that prior effort, it's a shame that student
focus group participation is typically low. You might consider offering some
sort of inc!
 entive--a meal of some sort is always an attraction. 

Surveys, on the other hand (particularly electronic surveys), are easy to
administer. Just be careful of the number of questions on your survey.
Surveys already have a reputation for providing incredibly low response
rates (, you have no mechanism for probes or follow-up questions. You can't
see the incongruence with one student's body and verbal language while
another student rolls his eyes in response to the question. Qualitative
comments on a survey are especially rare. 

-----Original Message-----
From: Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Barbara Kirkwood
Sent: Monday, April 30, 2012 10:10 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Questions for a focus group of students who didn't come for
tutoring

How successful were they in their courses? 
What future plans do they have for education?  
Will they make any changes in what they do as far as academic support in
future semesters?
What would have made them take the step to come for academic assistance?
Did they see an advisor?
Did they meet with an instructor?  Would it have encouraged them to get
tutoring if an instructor had suggested it?
 
I would want to know if they were actively failing (attending classes, doing
the homework and reading) or if they quit attending.
 
I would love to hear what insights you gain.
Barb
 
Barbara L.S. Kirkwood
Teaching-Learning Center
Prince George's Community College
Largo, MD.
301.322.0464

>>> [log in to unmask] 04/30/12 10:55 AM >>>

Hi all,

Beginning last semester, I reached out to student by email who had been
flagged in our first alerts program as having academic difficulty and
encouraged them to come for tutoring.  A recent assessment of one of the
outreached showed that at least one group of students did not come for
tutoring.  I would like to put together a small focus group of them and send
them a brief survey.  Besides the obvious question of why they did not come
for tutoring, what other questions should I ask?

Thanks for your help,

John Cleveland

John P. Cleveland, M.T.S., M.A.
Director, Tutoring Center
Center for Academic Excellence
& Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Philosophy and Religious
Studies Pace University
41 Park Row, Room 204
New York, NY  10038
(212)346-1407 (phone)
(212)346-1520 (fax)
[log in to unmask]
www.pace.edu/tutoring
[division logo.jpg]
[Facebook
Badge]<http://www.facebook.com/pages/Student-Success-at-Pace-University/5551
2637522>[twitter_logo_header]<http://twitter.com/PaceSUCCESS>


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