Community Business College is unique in many ways but none more so than the fact that we take a weekly temperature of how our students are doing. We ask our students to evaluate both their course content and their instructors on a weekly basis. We have been doing this for 20 years and it has been especially effective at helping us accommodate an extremely diverse population of students.
Why? Several reasons. The first is because we really do care how our students are progressing and feeling about it. Other organizations pay lip service to caring what their customers think, but aren’t very proactive about it. The best way to know how you're doing and how your customers feel about you is to simply ask them.
Just like we do for our own daily lives (or even as the Gallup organization found, employees at a job) it's good to take a little break as time goes on reflect on what’s working and what needs improvement.
Another reason we constantly check in with our students, is if we do ever do run into any issues, finding out about them early makes them easier to solve. For example, if one or two students feel like the class is moving too quickly for them, finding out early on means we can adjust accordingly and not let any students fall behind.
A caveat to those who might wish to duplicate the process - don't ask people to be honest and blunt in your surveys if you aren't ready for the consequences. Asking people to share their concerns and then not acting on them is the epitome of counter productive efforts.
Here are some examples pulled from the written surveys of our students last week.
“I really like this class because it is explained really well. We’re all working together. It makes class feel comfortable.”
“My instructor, John, has been great. He explains everything very well and helps everyone in class that might be having trouble.”
“Excellent course for a business owner!”
“The instructor is very knowledgeable. Is very personable. I am a visual learner and he teaches ‘hands-on.’”
As you can see, not only do we like to know about problems early on, but we also like to hear the good things that are happening.