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Q: Who do I call if I have questions regarding reserch?

Denise Jacobsen, Senior Research Analyst, Denise can be reached at 457-2429.

Q: How confidential are my responses to survey questions?

A: Your responses to survey questions are kept completely anonymous and confidential unless the survey offers you the option of providing your name and you are wish to share it. You are not personally identified in the survey results in any manner. All responses are in aggregate form only.

Q: How long does it take to develop a survey?

A: There are two forms of surveys; paper-and-pencil and on-line.

Paper-And-Pencil Surveys

The office provides support for the design, distribution and analysis of scanned paper-and-pencil surveys. Clients must complete the on-line "IR Request Form" before a survey is designed and distributed. A summary of the procedure is as follows:

  • Client completes on-line IR Request Form.
  • Director and IR Team reviews request form.
  • Request is either approved or denied. Client is informed of the decision and the rationale.
  • If approved, the IR Director prepares an initial draft of the survey.
  • IR Support Staff create a Survey Folder. This includes a sheet for tracking progress.
  • IR Support Staff creates a "Draft Copy" of the survey to be reviewed by the IR Director, Research Analyst and Senior Research Analyst.
  • IR Support Staff makes any changes to the draft copy.
  • When approved, the IR Support Staff format's the survey for scanning.
  • A test copy is created by campus IR or NCS.
  • If the test copy scans properly, then copies are made by either campus duplicating services or NCS.
  • A cover page may be written by the Client or IR Director (example attached)
  • IR Support Staff distribute and collect the surveys.
  • IR Support Staff scan the returned surveys and store the results on the shared "H" drive.
  • The IR Research Analyst analyzes the survey data, prepares a summary report and distributes to the IR Team for review.
  • The IR Support Staff distribute copies of the report to the client and survey participants.
  • A copy of the research results are posted on the IR web site.

The process can take up to three months from start to finish.

On-Line Surveys

The office also provides support for the design, distribution and analysis of on-line surveys. Clients must complete the on-line "IR Request Form" before a survey is designed and distributed. A summary of the procedure is as follows:

  • Client completes on-line IR Request Form.
  • IR Director and IR Team review request.
  • Request is either approved or denied – client is informed of decision and rationale.
  • If approved, the Director prepares an initial draft of the survey with input from the IR Team and Client.
  • IR Research Analyst creates a "Survey Folder" which includes a progress tracking report, creates a "Draft Copy" of the survey and routes to the Client, IR Director, Research Analyst and Senior Research Analyst for review, comment, and/or approval.
  • IR Research Analyst makes any changes to the draft copy.
  • When approved, the IR Research Analyst forwards form to ITS for formatting and linking to a database.
  • ITS notifies the IR Director of the appropriate link for the survey database.
  • The IR Director sends out an email message informing participants (identified by the client) how to participate in the on-line survey (sample attached).
  • The IR Director sends out a reminder to the distribution list (sample attached) prior to the sampling deadline.
  • The IR Research Analyst analyzes the data and prepares a preliminary report.
  • The "Preliminary Report" is routed to the IR Team for review.
  • A “Final Copy” is sent to the Client and a summary is sent to the participants.
  • Copies of the report are posted on the IR web site. Hard copies are filed in a project file.

The process can take up to five (5) weeks from start to finish.

When do I call IR and when do I call MIS for data?

A: If you want data from the current fiscal year, contact MIS. If you want comparison data or historic data, contact IR. Don’t know what you need? Contact either department and we will be glad to help.

Q: What is 10 th day data?

A: Ten days after the official start of a term, data is collected to represent enrollment at that time. Tenth day data is not the same as audited or year end data and should be interpreted as a snapshot of the term.

Q: What’s the difference between duplicated and unduplicated headcount?

A: At any period, a MCC student may be taking one or several credit or noncredit courses or combination of courses. Unduplicated counts each student only once during the term. Duplicated counts each student for every course taken. Headcount and Seatcount are also terms associated with duplicated headcount.

Q: How large should my sample size be?

A: The larger your sample, the more sure you can be that their answers truly reflect the population. Two terms you need to understand: Confidence Interval and Confidence Level. The confidence level tells you how sure you can be. It is expressed as a percentage and represents how often the true percentage of the population who would pick an answer lies within the confidence interval. The 95% confidence level means you can be 95% certain; the 99% confidence level means you can be 99% certain.  Most researchers use the 95% confidence level.

The confidence interval is the plus-or-minus figure usually reported in newspaper or television opinion poll results. For example, if you use a confidence interval of 4 and 47% percent of your sample picks an answer you can be "sure" that if you had asked the question of the entire relevant population between 43% (47-4) and 51% (47+4) would have picked that answer.

If you know the confidence interval and confidence level and the size of your population, there is a convenient on-line calculator located at: http://www.surveysystem.com/sscalc.htm which will provide you with the needed sample size.

 
 
 
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