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generally have a clear relationship to the outcomes being assessed.

● Tend to be inexpensive to administer.

● Can be conducted relatively quickly.

● Responses to close-ended questions are easy to tabulate and to report in tables or graphs.

● Open-ended questions allow faculty to uncover unanticipated results.

● Can be used to track opinions across time to explore trends.

● Are amenable to different formats, such as paper-and-pencil or online formats.

● Can be used to collect opinions from respondents at distant sites.

opinions if the sample is small.

● What people say they do or know may be inconsistent with what they actually do or know.

● Open-ended responses can be difficult and time-consuming to analyze.

Level of participation in survey can be low making bringing into question reliability of the results.  

Surveys can be particularly effective at the program and institutional level.  Often, offices such as IRPO can be responsible for developing surveys that span multiple programs or collect information about graduates or non completers.  However, it is important that all programs participate in survey design to ensure needed information is captured by the survey instrument.

The college currently uses a web based program “Survey Monkey” for online surveys.  


Interviews can be conducted one-on-one, in small groups, or over the phone.

Interviews can be structured (with specified questions) or unstructured (a more open process).

Questions can be close-ended (e.g., multiple-choice style) or open-ended (respondents construct a response).

Can target students, graduating seniors, alumni, employers, community members, faculty, etc.

Can do exit interviews or pre-post interviews.

Can focus on student experiences, concerns, or attitudes related to the program being assessed.

Generally should be conducted by neutral parties to avoid bias and conflict of interest.

Some Tips for Effective Interviewing

● Conduct the interview in an environment that allows the interaction to be confidential and uninterrupted.

● Demonstrate respect for the respondents as participants in the assessment process rather than as subjects. Explain the purpose of the project, how the data will be used, how the respondent’s anonymity or confidentiality will be maintained, and the respondents’ rights as participants. Ask if they have any questions.

● Put the respondents at ease. Do more listening than talking. Allow respondents to finish their statements without interruption.

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