NAAC releases Guidelines, Questionnaire for Student Satisfaction Survey, makes it critical element in Accreditation
In the year 2017, NATIONAL ASSESSMENT AND ACCREDITATION COUNCIL (NAAC), an autonomous body established by UGC to assess and accredit institutions and the grade the Institute had revised its assessment and accreditation process. One of the major features of this revised process was seeking response / feedback from the students about the information submitted by the Institutes and then giving weightage to the student’s response. Now NAAC has released detailed guidelines and also the questionnaire relating to the student satisfaction survey.
In this Survey during the process of Accreditation, students would be required to Questions, which would vary from specific teaching skills of the teacher, to his overall approach to the educational process. Specific skills of the teacher like, subject knowledge, communication skills, class preparation, Fairness of the internal evaluation process and use of ICT tools are part of the questionnaire. The overall approach of the teacher and institution with respect to providing the right environment, opportunity for growth, motivation, interpersonal relationships, feedback etc. forms the second major component of the questionnaire.
There are twenty objective questions in the questionnaire and one open ended question, question is open ended to elicit observations and suggestions for improvements providing an opportunity to the student to give suggestions and criticisms in their own words. Students will respond on a scale of 4 to 0, with the most positive response rated as 4 and most negative response rated as 0. The mean score for each question will be calculated and the overall mean will be arrived at. This figure will range from 4 to 0 and will give the mean satisfaction level of the students for the particular institute.
The institution is supposed to send a list of total student strength, with details of their student ID number, Aadhaar ID number (Any other Valid ID No. in the absence of Aadhaar), degree programme, email id and mobile number. NAAC will send online link to the survey to the email address/mobile no of the student, and the student will have to fill the survey before a stipulated date.
Curiously, for the purpose of conducting survey, a stratified random sample of students will be chosen. Response rate below 10% will not be considered. In sample, students would be spread evenly across different classes, year of enrolment and gender as far as possible.
The survey analysis score will be used as a key component of accreditation. The institution, teachers; have been warned by NAAC not to influence the students with respect to the survey and ensure that the process is genuine feedback for the institute.
Globally, Student Satisfaction Survey (SSS) is administered annually to determine all students’ level of satisfaction with various student support areas and services. In India, though it has been done at informal level, this is the first time that it has been made part of accreditation process and also being given pre-determined weightage. This also is a great attempt to give voice to the students, the important stakeholder in the system.
I have my huge doubts on the methodology of the sampling and response rate of 10 % and above to be adequate for benchmarking the Institute. This size of sampling is never going to give accurate data and will eventually not support the manifestation of this idea.
Further, if it is to be done during the accreditation, then it means it will miss many batches of 2 years course, and thus missing a substantial size of stakeholders. To bring more consistency and meaning into this process, it should be conducted annually. But it should also not become a strategic tool in the hands of the students.