Annual spring student survey

SMCHS’ IT Department sends a school-wide survey to collect students’ feedback.

On the morning of March 14, all period seven classes were interrupted five minutes before the bell by an announcement regarding a survey from the IT Department. Students were given five minutes to fill out a survey attached to an email from SMCHS’ Director of Instructional Technology, Scott Bricker, with the subject, “2016 Spring Student Survey.” The 29-question survey’s motive was to capture the growth of the 2015-16 school year in tech.

“It’s just kind of a way to check in with the students and find out how things are going,” Bricker said. “Is the tablet working, is the internet working, are [students] using OneNote? It’s just a good way for us to get that data that says, for example, 95 percent of kids are using OneNote. We want to know that the things they’re using in the classroom are working.”

Another purpose of the survey is to assist the school’s accreditation process. In this process, SMCHS is evaluated by the Western Catholic Educational Association, WCEA, to verify the quality of the Catholic education.

“The process is kind of like a self-study and we need data as part of that,” Bricker said. “That data will help us at tech but it will also help the school as we go through the accreditation process.”

Bricker and the IT Department want to make sure SMCHS students have the best device to heighten their learning experience. While the Lenovo Yoga tablets have been successful in modernizing SMCHS, it’s important to validate that they are working well for everybody.

“We have a really good relationship with Microsoft,” Bricker said. “We want to be able to go to them and say ‘Hey, here’s what’s working with OneNote, here’s what’s not working,’ so we can just keep improving the program. We always want it to get better so that five years from now we can look back and see that it’s not the same thing it was when we first started.”

On average, the survey receives about 85 percent of participation from students — all responses are anonymous.

“We cannot see by user — and we don’t care about that,” Bricker said. “This is not a way for us to single anybody out. Notice there was no login or anything — we just want the data.”

As for SMCHS teachers, the survey’s feedback can also help them keep up with the best resources in OneNote as well as online. Whether they prefer old-school hard copies or digital PDFs, the Lenovo Yogas offer opportunities that vary from subject to subject.

“As you know, we have teachers with varying abilities,” Bricker said. “Some really, really like [the tablets]; some really, really don’t. And also by subject — some subjects don’t use it as much. We just want to help all teachers understand that they don’t have to use it all the time, but if they want to, here are the tools they can use. [Students] have lived and breathed technology since day one, [their] teachers need a little bit of a boost and encouragement to kind of get that going.”