Saturday, September 07, 2013

Surveying the (changing) experience of our students

I teach a class on digital literacy in the Internet era, and the backgrounds and digital experience of my students change every year. (See the Beloit College Mindset List for general changes in student backgrounds).

As such, I start the term with a student background survey, which serves three purposes 1) I use the survey results to assign the students to study groups 2) to let the students see how their background compares with others and 3) to provide an example of an Internet-based service -- online survey processing -- which we can discuss in class.

You can see this term's survey results here. (I've omitted the answers to open-ended question like what is your major (they vary considerably), what audio, video or image editor do you use (most answer "none" to all three) and what is your relevant work experience).

I would appreciate suggestions for changes to my survey -- what else would be useful and informative to know?

Do you conduct a similar survey? If so, what do you ask?

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Update 9/8/2013

Thirty three freshmen, one sophomore, seven juniors and fourteen seniors completed the survey. Their majors were: