GTA Communication Survey
Purpose and Survey Information
To help to ensure that all of our Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) have adequate communication skills to be effective in the classroom or lab, we administer a survey to the students in their class(es) early in their first semester of teaching. Each semester, communication skills are assessed for all GTAs who are teaching a course or a lab at K-State for the first time as the primary instructor or who having significant interaction with students.
Beginning in the Fall of 2003, the Office of Assessment and Program Review (now the Office of Assessment) has coordinated these efforts. The GTA Communication Survey process includes connecting departments with the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning (CATL) to make opportunities available for GTAs to strengthen communication skills that are identified as needing improvement.
The GTA Communication Survey is designed to assess student perceptions of your ability to be understood and their perception of being understood by you. To provide the highest quality of instruction, Kansas State University surveys the students of all GTAs who are teaching for the first time at the university.
The GTA Communication Survey was developed to provide GTAs with important feedback on their classroom communication skills. A summary report of the survey results will be provided to you and to the department head. If your results indicate "adequate," "good," or "superior" ratings, you can have confidence in your basic communication skills.
If you are identified as having two or more areas of "serious concern," you will receive information on how you can improve your skills. In addition, the Office of Assessment will request that a subsequent communication survey be scheduled approximately three weeks after your receive your summary report.
Procedures for the GTA Communication Survey
- To start the process, the Office of Assessment contacts Department Heads/Administrators in each department prior to the beginning of the semester and asks for a list of GTAs with significant first-time teaching responsibilities.
- Upon the return of the list of first-time GTAs, an e-mail with information and attachments will be sent to each GTA. The information and conformation forms should be returned to the Office of Assessment prior to the survey administration.
- The Office of Assessment will hand-deliver the necessary administration materials to each department. These materials include scan survey forms, instructions for administering the survey, and a return envelope marked confidential.
- Departments should return the completed surveys to the the Office of Assessment for processing. To protect students' confidentiality, departments are to hand-deliver the surveys for each class to the Office of Assessment (226 Anderson Hall) in the confidential envelope provided.
- The Office of Assessment will send detailed reports of the survey results to each GTA and his or her department head. Where appropriate, the Office of Assessment will provide plans for self-development to the GTA in the areas identified as needing some improvement. If areas of serious concern are identified for a GTA, appropriate methods to further improve the GTA's communication skills will be outlined in a report and the department will be asked to work with the GTA to deal with the issues.
- When a GTA is identified as having two or more areas of serious concern, the Office of Assessment will request that a subsequent communication survey be scheduled approximately three weeks after the initial survey.
- For the second administration, the Office of Assessment will provide materials, compile the data, provide a report, and make recommendations in the same manner as described for the first survey administration.
- If the second survey indicates that communication effectiveness continues to be inadequate, departments will be asked to provide a plan of action to deal with concerns. Departments will be asked to justify the continued use of the GTA with two negative assessments as a teacher.
Information for GTAs
The following attachments are distributed to each GTA with significant first-time teaching responsibilities at the beginning of his or her first semester (last revised Fall 2007):
Information for Department Heads and Administrators
The following attachments are distributed to Department Heads and Administrators at the beginning of each semester (last revised Fall 2007):
Fall GTA Summary Report (Fall 2003 - Fall 2012)
Spring GTA Summary Report (Spring 2003 - Spring 2012)