GTA Communication Survey
To help to ensure that all Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) have sufficient 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 have significant interaction with students.
The Office of Assessment began coordinating the GTA Communication Survey in the Fall of 2003. The GTA Communication Survey process includes connecting departments with the K-State Teaching and Learning Center 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 each GTA's communication abilities. 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 are provided to each GTA and to the department head/GTA coordinator. If the GTA's results indicate "adequate," "good," or "superior" ratings, the GTA can have confidence in his or her basic communication skills.
If the GTA is identified as having one or more areas of "serious concern", he or she will receive information on ways to improve communication skills. In addition, if the 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 summary report is sent.
Procedures for the GTA Communication Survey
- To start the process, the Office of Assessment contacts department heads in each department early in each fall and spring semester and asks for a list of GTAs with significant first-time teaching responsibilities.
- Upon the return of the list of first-time teaching GTAs, an e-mail with information on the GTA Communication Survey is sent to each GTA.
- The Office of Assessment will e-mail a survey link to every student in each GTA's class. Students will have approximately two weeks to complete the survey.
- The Office of Assessment will send detailed reports of the survey results to each GTA and his or her department head/faculty supervisor. 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.
- When a GTA is identified as having two or more areas of serious concern, the Office of Assessment will administer a subsequent communication survey approximately three weeks before the end of the semester to identify any improved areas.
- For the second administration, the Office of Assessment will e-mail the survey link to students, 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 address continued concerns. Departments will be asked to justify the continued appointment of the GTA.