Collecting and processing student feedback is crucial to ensuring that your department’s efforts are moving you toward your goals and serving students. Choosing the way in which this data is collected from your residents is just as important as what you do with it to take action. Below are some ways you can utilize Roompact software to check in with your residents throughout the year, as well as other operational efforts for an end-of-year summary.
- Roommate Pulse Check – In the first month of the semester, checking in on how roommates are doing can help with some pretty immediate intervention and occupancy pieces. Using the text function of the microsurvey module allows a simple #Good #Okay #Bad response that then codes the rooms a corresponding color indicating the needed follow up. In your follow up with these responses, you may spot trends in gender, room type, student type, etc. that can assist in a wider-spread response. [See more below on how to use your roommate agreement to follow up on this process too!]
- Midterm Grade Check-In – Similarly, in the middle of the semester, right as midterm grades are released, reaching back out to students through a texted microsurvey can enhance the more traditional efforts of sending an email with resources. The room coding feature in Roompact can also allow supervisors to see if there are any patterns within their hall that need to be addressed. Is there a gender imbalance of poor grades? Do you see a certain floor struggling, and is that filling in the gaps on that RAs’ performance and visibility? Maybe you can even cross tab this data with their majors and involve faculty in that area for support.
- Roommate Agreements – Though not thought of as a traditional data point perhaps, even basic numbers and demographics of who is completing these can help to forecast issues and redirect efforts of conflict mediation. You can also compare this data with room changes in your occupancy management software to see where peaks are occurring across your campus. Perhaps that information may be useful in hall renovation efforts or programming to attempt a proactive approach to battling conflicts.
- On-Call Log – Using the tag feature you may find that a certain percentage of your on-call responses involve facilities versus alcohol. Using a long-term trend analysis over the course of a semester, you can also see what is the most common tag by day of the week and time of the semester. For example, do you see an increase in roommate conflicts during the first 4 weeks of each semester? Does alcohol spike during certain sporting events? This data can allow you to better refocus your training and ad-hoc reviews with all levels of staff accordingly.
- Programming – Of course there are attendance metrics to be collected through post-event attendance forms, but be sure not to forget the qualitative pieces of the actual programming proposals and evaluation forms. What are the most common types of events (social, educational)? Are there certain days that RAs tend to lean towards for programming? Do you find programming efforts clumped together – perhaps at the end of the month? Helping your student staff understand how to better focus their efforts can make them that much more rewarding. This can also help your hall directors better allocate resources and spread programming efforts out across the semester to keep students engaged more consistently.
- RA Weekly Reports – Student staff are still students, and listening to their feedback as members of your community in a leadership role can be taken for granted. As peer leaders they can tap into the student experience in a much more direct way. Therefore using a weekly report form through Roompact and being able to download these into a summary or even some quantitative data each month and/or semester can prove extremely useful. Taking it a step further, how are all of your staff doing at a certain snapshot in the semester? Are you seeing peaks of anxiety and need to adjust your programming calendar? Is there a repeating conduct issue permeating all floors in your community? These reports can help you build your staff agenda to be more intentionally focused on your staff and community needs, as well as informing them of departmental updates.
All of these pieces enable hall staff to be empowered leaders within the communities that they run. Knowing the trends and needs of their students and being able to respond and adapt is incredibly powerful, and develops skills needed to elevate their scope for advancement opportunities. When you pull your focus up from the individual student or RA to the entire community and staff team, it is easier to find solutions and responses to support their success. These types of interventions can serve as high impact processes that influence retention efforts at your institution. Being able to interrupt a roommate conflict at its beginning can have a tremendous impact on mattering and belonging, and isn’t that the overall goal for our work?