2014 Winter Term Survey: More than 91 percent of students and faculty satisfied or very satisfied

Written by Susan Meikle, university news and communications, Figure courtesy of Andrea Bakker, office of institutional research

winter-term-graphTo help assess the success of Miami's first winter term, the office of institutional research (OIR) conducted a survey of those students and faculty who participated in the January 2014 winter term. More than 91 percent of both students and faculty who responded reported that they were satisfied or very satisfied with their overall winter term experience.

For full survey results, go to the OIR website

The survey population included all students enrolled in and all faculty who taught a course during the winter term.

A total of 1,115 undergraduates (35.4 percent response rate), 51 graduate students (34.9 percent response rate) and 132 faculty or staff (67.7 percent response rate) participated in the survey.

Student Survey

Overall, 91.6 percent of undergraduates were satisfied or very satisfied with their winter term experience. 

Also, 87.3 percent of undergraduates would recommend enrolling in the winter term next year to another student.

Among other findings:

  • Oxford campus undergraduates were most likely to report that they enrolled in the winter term to fit an extra course in their schedule (43.6 percent) or to spread their course load out and to have fewer courses in the spring (43.5 percent).
  • Regional campus undergraduates were most likely to state that they enrolled in the winter term to graduate more quickly (50 percent), to fit an extra course in their schedule (48.1 percent) or to spread their course load and have fewer courses in the spring (46.8 percent). 
  • Overall, 90.1 percent of undergraduates reported they were able to keep up with the pace of the winter term course while 9.8 percent reported that they were not able to keep up with the pace.
  • 85.7 percent of undergraduates agreed that they learned the course material well in their winter term course while 14.3 percent did not feel they learned the course material well.
  • 81.4 percent of graduate students agreed that they were able to keep up with the pace.
Course type mattered to students

On the Oxford campus, undergraduates who were enrolled in a study abroad or study away course were most likely to recommend the winter term to another student (95.9 and 95 percent) while undergraduates enrolled in an online course were the least likely to recommend the winter term (82.4 percent).

Similarly, on the regional campuses, students enrolled in hybrid (100 percent) and face-to-face courses (91.7 percent) were most likely to recommend the winter term with online students (83.5 percent) being the least likely.

Faculty Survey

Overall, 100 percent of regional campus faculty and 97.2 percent of Oxford campus faculty were satisfied or very satisfied with their winter term experience.

  • 94.5 percent of both Oxford and regional campus faculty reported that they would be interested in teaching in the 2015 winter term.
  • Among those interested in teaching, 63.1 percent would be interested in working with E-learning to design alternative delivery methods that could be used in case of weather conditions prohibiting in-class instruction during future winter terms.
  • 100 percent of regional faculty and 93.7 percent of Oxford faculty agreed that the winter term is a valuable and worthwhile academic option.
  • But only 75.9 percent of faculty was satisfied with the students' understanding of the workload related to courses taught in a shorter time frame, and 56.2 percent did not believe students should be able to take 6 credit hours during the winter term. 
Areas for improvement: Communication

The majority of students and faculty agreed that communication regarding the winter term was helpful, but they also identified areas in which communication might be improved.

Students and faculty reported that better communication with students prior to or at the start of the winter term describing the fast pace and heavy workload of the winter term would be beneficial.

For 53.6 percent of undergraduates in hybrid courses and 48.6 percent in online courses, the winter term was their first time completing a hybrid or online course. Students in these courses may need additional information about what to expect from their first hybrid or online course, according to the Center for the Enhancement of Learning, Teaching and University Assessment (CELTUA) winter term experiences assessment brief.