Thursday, August 6, 2009

Alumni survey, a school's self-reflection

UCD sent me this alumni survey a couple weeks ago. It asked some really strange questions, but I like the usefulness of some of them, like:

- which services on campus did you use during/after your time at UCD
- how was your major applicable to what you are doing now

They also asked several questions that all basically meant, "How well did UCD prepare you/help you decide in what you are doing now?" It's nice to know that they care about the quality of education they provide. And how they can make things more effective for future students.

I always thought I would donate or volunteer with my alma mater (once I actually have money to donate). It's a worthwhile thing to do, at least for me.

Do schools not at the university level ask these things of themselves? How well are schools preparing students for their next steps? How well are schools helping students to understand themselves so that they can make well informed decisions independently? What kind of services are being used the most? The least? What services are missing from schools that would be useful for the community of students and their families?

Teachers are asked to self-reflection on their teaching all the time. Sometimes, I've had to reflect so much that it seems like I'm tapped out and have nothing left to reflect, but still they ask for it. But these self-reflections become rather pointless if I don't improve my teaching weaknesses, or share my teaching triumphs, or get my questions on teaching answered in at least a semi-satisfactory way.

Schools essentially get their "temperature measured" each year, to see if they are "sick" or "not." I'm not exactly sure how this data is used, other than for people to lament how horrendously awful public schools are. I wonder.....

It's just interesting to think about these things, is all.

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