Summer Practicum – Surveys!

My summer practicum is almost over. I had a great time learning about the Study Table’s Tutoring program. WR and MD are terrific practicum advisors. If they read this, they will certainly chuckle a little bit. My assessment project was extremely self-directed. I took some study table information, coupled it with Data Warehouse data and wound up proving that the Academic Success Center’s Study Tables are extremely effective at increasing student grades.

I truly enjoyed my conversations/meetings with WR. We would brainstorm new and creative ways to gather data (audio recordings via my mp3 player for example) and we would also discuss other topics in higher education. I can only hope that my next practicum will be as beneficial to my development. WR and I talked at length regarding the structure of my practicum. I was on my own a lot. Our weekly check-ins would ramble on for well over an hour because we needed time to reflect on what I was up to and to speak about the direction of the project. I had never before used my techie skills and my student affairs skills (I sound like Napoleon Dynamite!) in such a way before.

The project went like this:

  • 1. Gather Study Tables attendance sheets to determine attendee frequency.
  • 2. Group attendees into 3 segments – Regulars, Non-Regulars, and Did Not Attends (DNA’s)
  • 3. Gather student data via Data Warehouse using CRN’s
  • 4. Filter and Sort Data using Excel (I learned an amazing amount of tricks and tips with Excel. I now heart Excel!)
  • 5. Calculate percentages of involvement and grade averages
  • 6. Write up reports to send to WR and MD after figuring out that the study tables (especially Math 111) are good for your grades.
  • 7. Move to stage 2 of the project…surveying students for specific information re: Math 111 Study Tables.
  • 8. Write up a phone survey script after conferring with WR about wording and what data he wanted.
  • 9. Figure out a way to record phone conversations via my mp3 player. (I ended up using the ASC’s conference phone. My office looked like a recording studio!)
  • 10. Create and Design an online survey for those students who are not called or are unavailable when called.
  • 11. Test the survey – WR, MD, and DB all had input re: the phone survey. The online survey used the same questions.
  • 12. Call students. I called 20+ students and recorded 4. The 4 that I interviewed were amazingly honest and gave in depth answers.
  • 13. Send out the online survey. Once again I relied on QuestionPro.com for online survey functionality. They are awesome.
  • 14. Burn an audio cd for later transcribing.
  • 15. Gather a final report from QuestionPro.com of all the open-ended survey responses.
  • 16. Derive themes from audio and written data. (Unfortunately, I will miss this part because I am out of hours and time. Assessment projects soak up time faster than a sponge in the ocean!)

This project will go down in my history books as my second assessment project and my first successful project in that it was very personally fullfilling. The first project (for my assessment class) was personally very taxing but the process was enriching. It was very rewarding to be able to contribute data/analysis of a successful project so that the ASC can report to the president that they are indeed a success. This project went by so fast. The amount of data crunching and people skills required to complete my part of the asssessment drained my introverted energies :-)

The ASC is a great place to have a practicum. They gave me an office and treated me like I was one of the staff. They even put my name on the entrance sign on the ground level of Waldo. MD and WR are like development concentrate. My 90 hours with them was invaluable. I feel that I have a better understanding for what it takes for students to succeed in college. One of the shining moments of my practicum was the joy of a student who had received a C in Math 111. They were overjoyed and it was all because of a study table program here at OSU. I know I’m gushing, but it’s true, the ASC rocks!!!