Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The Results are In!!

I have only had about 45 minutes today to skim the results from our third annual administration of the Noel-Levitz PSOL (Priorities Survey for Online Learners). The PSOL is a nationally-normed importance/satisfaction survey for students taking online courses. A few things jump out at me right away:

  • LSC Online students were more satisfied than the national average on 16 of the 26 items.

  • Eight of the 26 items had statistically significant differences between LSC students and the national average; and 6 of those eight differences were positive for LSC and only two negative (below the nat’l numbers).

  • Because 16 MnSCU schools administered the survey all at the same time, we now have MnOnline aggregated data for the first time ever. On each of the 26 standard satisfaction statements, LSC students were more satisfied than the MnOnline total grouping.

  • Of the 26 items where LSC students were more satisfied, 19 of the 26 differences were statistically significant (an astonishing number, IMHO). Five were significant at the .05 level, eight were significant at the .01 level, and six were significant at the .001 level.

  • Not only were the satisfaction numbers higher, but the standard deviation numbers were equal or lower (often much lower) on all items except one. That means that not only were our students more satisfied, but there was less variation in their answers as well.

  • There appears to be some interesting data to dissect regarding previous online enrollments. Those students who had previously completed 4 or more online courses were overall much more satisfied than those who had previously completed fewer courses. However, there were a few categories where the more experienced students were clearly less satisfied, particularly the two questions related to program advisors.

  • I also look forward to examining the data more rigorously related to age breakdowns. Students 25 and older are WAY more satisfied than students 24 and younger. The older grouping reports higher satisfaction on 35 out of 36 statements, with 12 of those being statistically significant differences.
Overall, for the third year in a row the results are very positive. I will be spending some time over the next month looking for holes in the data where we might be able to improve our service to students.

Tags: PSOL LSC Online MnOnline eLearning Student Satisfaction

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