The Sakai Administration Team (SAT), a subcommittee of the Intercollegiate Academic Computing Committee (IACC), is responsible for managing the Sakai learning management system for The Claremont Colleges. The subcommittee meets once a month to discuss issues such as testing new versions of Sakai, evaluating new tools, and Sakai support and training. SAT also conducts surveys of customer satisfaction with Sakai. Faculty and students are surveyed every two years and we are planning a staff survey in the Spring of 2011 as well.
This April SAT surveyed students for the second time since we began using Sakai. In order to encourage participation HMC conducted a raffle for one of three prizes: an iPod Nano, a LiveScribe pen, or an Amazon gift certificate. HMC had the highest participation in the survey with 307 students contributing (40% of our student body). The winner of the raffle was Alice Paul who chose the LiveScribe pen. Congratulations Alice! We really appreciate everyone’s participation.
SAT is in the process of analyzing the results of the survey. Results of the quantitative questions can be viewed in this PDF of the survey. Analysis of the 5 open-ended questions will take more time. Results of the 2010 survey were similar to the results of the 2008 survey. One difference was that students reported using Sakai for three to four courses versus the one or two reported in 2008. Resources, Assignments, Syllabus, Announcements, Assignments, and Dropbox were the most widely used tools, which is similar to the 2008 results. A majority of students reported that Sakai was “Easy” to use and that their overall experience with Sakai was “Good.” A majority of students also reported that they agreed with the statement “I prefer courses that use Sakai to organize course materials and communication.” This was also the case in 2008. However, more students reported that they “Strongly Agree” with this statement this year than in 2008 (22.8% verses 9.4%).
SAT will be giving three presentations at the annual international Sakai conference in Denver in June. One of the presentations will focus on the results of our two student surveys. While there are usually many presentations on faculty perceptions and usage of Sakai, the student perspective has largely been absent from the conferences that we’ve attended. So we’re very excited about being able to share our students’ insights about how Sakai is used at The Claremont Colleges, what works well for them and what doesn’t. The open-ended questions are a particularly rich source of information. SAT is already looking forward to using the information to better inform our decisions regarding the default tools available on course sites and training for both faculty and students.