Faculty Surveys

Spring 2007 Faculty Survey on New Classroom Exam Service . N. Lowell, OEA Report 07-04, 2007. ( 117K PDF*)

This report summarizes results of a faculty survey conducted in Spring 2007 to inform the decision to introduce proctoring services for classroom exams. Such services might take either of two forms: administration of make-up exams tostudents who miss quizzes or midterms, and proctoring for regularly-scheduled exams to enable instructors to use class time for instruction rather than testing. Results of the survey were not definitive due to a very low response rate, however, they provide sufficient basis for the OEA Testing Center to incorporate proctoring for make-up exams in its regular testing schedule. Additional information is required regarding administration of regularly scheduled exams. Although the percentage of faculty who were interested extrapolates to about 600 out of 4,000 classes per quarter, a number of practical concerns were identified.

Educational Technology Survey 2005: Overview and Descriptive Statistics. D.E. McGhee, OEA Report 06-01, 2006. ( 975K PDF*)

In Spring 2005 a collaborative group of University of Washington units concerned with the role of computing technologies in academics and research administered surveys to instructors and students at all three UW campuses. These surveys investigated the ways in which members of the UW community use technology in support of education. This report provides basic descriptive statistics for the student and instructor responses.

Faculty Survey on Instructional Technology 2001: & Methodology and Preliminary Findings. D.E. McGhee and N. Lowell, OEA Report 01-06, 2001. (112K PDF*)

Computing and communications technologies are becoming increasing central to our everyday lives and particularly to the way we at the University of Washington (UW) carry out our educational mission. To provide preliminary information about how technology is being used in the service of instruction at the University of Washington, a survey of UW faculty was carried out in winter 2001. This report describes the survey methodology and provides a limited set of preliminary findings. Additional analyses will be carried out to support decision making a various levels throughout the University.

Freshman Interest Groups, Autumn 1996: Faculty Survey. N. Lowell, OEA Research Note 97-N2, 1997. (80K PDF*)

The University of Washington Freshman Interest Group (FIG) program is conducted each fall quarter, and provides incoming freshmen with a bridge between the academic and social world of high school and that of the University. Each FIG is composed of a group of approximately 20 students who enroll in a common set of University classes organized around a central theme. This research note briefly summarizes a survey of faculty who taught courses comprising the sixty FIGs offered autumn quarter, 1996. The 55 faculty members who completed the survey were almost uniformly positive in their assessment of the FIG program. A large number of faculty commented that FIG students participated in livelier discussions and seemed more engaged in class than did non-FIG students.

Faculty Views of the Grading System and "Grade Inflation" at the University of Washington. T. Taggart, OEA Report 95-4, 1995. (617K PDF*)

An electronic survey solicited the opinions of UW faculty members regarding the 4.0 decimal grading system and the perceived problem of "grade inflation." The 617 valid responses were evenly divided between those who said they were satisfied or dissatisfied with the 4.0 grading scheme. A majority of Professors, Associate Professors and Lecturers were satisfied with the current grading system while a majority of Assistant Professors and Teaching Assistants were not. Most respondents employed absolute standards, a grading curve or a combination of these procedures in their grading. A majority of faculty members never received formal training in grading practices and close to 90% of those surveyed reported that guidelines regarding grading practices would be helpful. Finally, over 80% of the respondents felt that "grade inflation" is a problem that needs to be addressed.

Research Involvement of Undergraduate Students: A Survey of University of Washington Faculty. T. Taggart, OEA Report 94-10, 1994.

An electronic (e-mail) survey of the extent of faculty use of and the perceived value of undergraduate students in research was undertaken in the summer of 1994. The close to 600 usable responses represented a good cross section of departments. Faculty respondents had involved almost 2100 students in their research in the two years prior to the survey. About two-thirds of these students were compensated with course credits. Faculty who had involved undergraduates in their research felt overwhelmingly that this inclusion was advantageous. Undergraduate researchers saved faculty time and relieved them of some routine tasks. Students also brought fresh perspectives and enthusiasm to their work. Students, too, were viewed as benefiting by being exposed to experiences that focused them on new career paths or graduate education.

University of Washington Faculty/Staff Child Care Needs Assessment. G. Gillmore and N. Lowell, OEA Report 93-1, 1993.

This report summarizes the results of a survey conducted by the University of Washington Faculty/Staff Child Care Services Office in Autumn, 1992 to identify the child care needs of University families. A sample of 500 classified staff and 500 faculty, librarians, and professional staff was randomly selected from all University of Washington employees, and 724 (72.4%)completed questionnaires were returned. Approximately one-half of all employees reported that they either currently had children under the age of fourteen, or were expecting to have children within the next two years. Other information included the types of childcare most frequently used, the number of hours used per week, and types of services desired.

Faculty Suggestions for Instructional Assessment System Revisions. G. Gillmore and S. Mahmood, OEA Report 92-3, 1992.

The purpose of the University of Washington Instructional Assessment System (IAS) is to collect ratings from students of their classes and instructors. When it was developed in 1973-74, the system consisted of five forms, each containing eleven common items and eleven items specific to give types of courses. Since that time, four additional forms have been added. This study used an informal memo to solicit faculty opinion about whether and how the IAS might be further revised. Three major themes were identified: 1) a preference for open-ended items, 2) discomfort with the use of norms, and 3) concerns that high ratings were a result of lenient grading and lack of rigorous academic demands.

Communication Skills of Students: Results of a Faculty Questionnaire. G. Gillmore, OEA Report 92-1, 1992.

A special subcommittee of the Faculty Senate Council on Academic Standards was appointed to investigate the communication skills of students who are native and non-native speakers of English. To aid deliberations, questionnaires were sent to faculty to assess their perception of the extent to which attainment of course learning goals were hindered by students' lack of communication skills. Writing ability was perceived to be the greatest hindrance for both groups of students. Non-native English speaking students were also perceived to be deficient on other dimensions. The negative perception of writing abilities of all students was a surprising result which further reinforced the importance of revising the curriculum to require more writing of all students.

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