McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana, was founded in 1939 and awards bachelor’s, master’s, graduate certificate, and education specialist degrees. In 2018, they served 7,000 plus students with online evaluation of instruction using Class Climate.

Challenge

In 2007, McNeese State University was using a homegrown solution for student evaluation of instruction. They administered paper surveys supplemented by a manually administered online system.

“It was cumbersome,” says Tonya Laughlin, a special‑project analyst for McNeese. “We had to collect the forms, scan the data, validate the data, then prepare reports. Often, students would fill in the respondent data incorrectly, so the verification really took some time.”

They needed a faster solution that could automate their current processes while still supporting both online and paper evaluations and surveys. Further, they wanted to do additional survey research but lacked a way to do that effectively using their current system.

Enter Scantron’s Class Climate automated course evaluation system.

Implementation

In Spring 2008, McNeese made the leap to Class Climate. They imported the Spring 2007 results to serve as a baseline and began administering online and on paper to students.

As of Fall 2017, the university switched their evaluations cycle from a calendar year to an academic year. This required the institutional research team to move to a fully online delivery to meet the schedule.

“We saved so much time,” Laughlin states. “It’s much more efficient.”


“The time from setting up a survey to administering it to getting results is much quicker now. With paper, we had to scan, we had to verify, and all of that. Online makes it much easier.”

Dane O’Blanc, Assistant Director of Institutional Research
McNeese State University


“Our next step in improving the student experience for evaluations is to connect Class Climate to Moodle, our learning management system,” notes Dane O’Blanc, Assistant Director of Institutional Research. “If we connect with students there, we can increase our response rate.”

McNeese appreciates Class Climate’s consistency and reliability. They particularly like that they can have the control of hosting the system on the university’s servers but still have the convenience of easy and rapid support from Scantron. “It’s wonderful to just be able to pick up the phone and speak with a Class Climate expert,” states O’Blanc. “We always get any issues fixed and questions answered right away.”

Another aspect of Class Climate that McNeese finds particularly useful is its ability to perform any type of survey, above and beyond evaluations.

“We’re very excited to be able to use a single tool to expand our survey outreach,” says O’Blanc. “We always say, ‘If you can think it, we can find a way to do it.’ Basically, if you have an idea for a survey, we can find a way to put it into Class Climate.”

The institutional research team’s clients are happy, too. ”As the Coordinator of Orientation and the Chair of the University Faculty Advising Committee, I’ve seen Class Climate be a major benefit to gathering data and making positive changes to Orientation and Advising Workshops each year.” notes Karen Westfall, Assistant Director of Advising and Coordinator of Orientation. “By working with Dane and Tonya, l am able to create a specific survey that the students complete online, which makes it quicker to get feedback to make improvements.”

Scantron is proud to support the McNeese institutional research team with a flexible tool they can use for any survey they need in their drive to continued excellence.

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