Currently, American Islamic College’s Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness (OIRE) utilizes Google Forms to conduct its quantitative and qualitative surveys. The data collected by the OIRE is used for institutional strategic planning and quality improvement in the following areas, but not limited to, 1) student support services and success initiatives, 2) budget considerations, 3) assessment of learning and teaching, 4) evaluation of recruitment and admissions practices, 5) stakeholder needs, 6) student engagement, 7) campus culture, and 8) campus events and student activities.
Personal identifying information is protected and secured, meaning such descriptors are not shared with the public, nor are they shared internally within the campus. Almost all the surveys, excluding the Alumni Survey, are collected with full anonymity. When the results are shared for the sole purpose of making data-informed decisions, the personal identifying information is withheld, and the results are shuffled and presented as aggregate data. Respondents are informed ahead of time if the data will be shared and how and for what purpose.
The OIRE is intentional in minimizing biases in its question design and in its analyses and interpretations by using mixed methods research, e.g. quantitative and qualitative questions. The Office aims to be transparent in its communication with stakeholders about the survey’s purpose and aim, analyses, findings, limitations, and biases. The OIRE promotes collaboration across campus offices and with its internal stakeholders and external constituents. Those in OIRE and those who work closely with data, attend professional trainings to improve survey design, and data collections and submissions. OIRE staff for instance have taken courses and trainings with AIR (Association for Institutional Research) and utilize AIR’s Ethical Principles as a resourceful framework and guide for its functions.