Best of the Week 2019-2020: Teaching to the Future
DATA SCIENCE STUDENTS CONDUCT DEPARTMENT-WIDE SURVEY PROJECT
This semester, seniors in Mr. Bob Schenosky's Data Science class are working with the school's administration to conduct a student-led survey to identify the areas of improvement for St. Ed's Admission, Student Life, Mission and Service, Faculty, Alumni, Athletics, Technology, Cafeteria and Bookstore from a student body perspective. Seniors have taken the last few weeks to meet with the chairs and heads of each department to brainstorm how to best formulate the questions for each department's survey. Some surveys, for example, like those for the alumni and faculty community, will also be targeting individuals other than students and therefore must be created through an unbiased lens to gain honest perspectives. Students have also met with their fellow senior classmates to get their opinions and suggestions as well.
"I believe this may be a new area of study within Data Science for students. What my students are learning will be utilized in a new, first time assignment that will allow them to work with administrators as well," says Mr. Schenosky. "The project's primary focus is teaching students how to write unbiased surveys, which isn't easy. Think of how CNN and FOX report surveys with extremely different results. Students are learning how to formulate results while working together to offer constructive recommendations throughout the process. They have taken the time to listen to the opinions of others which has expanded their own perspectives beyond the specific bias they individually might have related to the topic or area of focus."
The goal of this project is to improve the St. Ed's community with the survey's results, providing evidence as to what's on the minds of our students and how they wish to see St. Ed's grow. Upon completion of the surveys, Mr. Schenosky's students will compile the information and formulate a presentation for the administration with recommendations for how to improve each of the targeted departments based on the survey data. "In the professional business world, newer entrants into the workforce are often tasked with generating surveys and formulating the information by themselves to make decisions," says Mr. Schenosky. "For example, at Legendary Films, surveys are conducted to decide such things as how a movie should end or who the hero should be. Even Amazon sends follow-up surveys every time something is purchased and the Cleveland Clinic will send surveys following up on a patient's visit and care. Writing unbiased surveys are not as easy as it may sound, but they serve as important tools for all companies to gain feedback. Our goal with St. Ed's Data Science program is to prepare our students for the next level and to be ahead of the curve as they prepare to take Data Science courses in college."