Your Feedback Put Into Action

By: Jen Greenwood

August 21, 2017

Each year, The Art Institute of Pittsburgh—Online Division conducts the Noel Levitz “Priorities Survey for Online Learners.” This survey allows us to collect feedback direct from our students. This feedback then helps us to prioritize improvements to the student experience for the upcoming Academic year.

This year’s survey ran for just a little over two weeks at the end of January. The heart of the survey includes 26 standard items and 10 campus-defined items both rated for importance and satisfaction. This means the question is answered by giving a satisfaction or importance rating, such as “highly satisfied” or “not important.” There is also an open-ended comment section. We receive multiple reports with survey results, but there are two that we use extensively. One shows our year-over-year results. The other shows how we rank against other online learning institutions. A big part of the results is the gap score. A gap score is simply the difference between importance and satisfaction ratings. The lower the gap score- the better!

Based on the results, below are our strengths and opportunities:

NL Survey Strengths Image


NL Survey Opportunities Image 

We want to provide a little more detail around the opportunities. In regards to tutoring services, we did see significant increases year over year against ourselves with a 13% higher satisfaction rating; however, we are keeping it on our opportunities list because we are below the satisfaction rating of other online learning institutions. In regards to financial aid, our students place a slightly higher importance on these statements than other online institutions and our satisfaction is slightly less causing a larger gap score. This is the same for the student assignments statement. In regards to Academic services, we have a higher satisfaction rating compared to other online institutions; however, we did see slight decreases year over year against ourselves in these areas. So to summarize, the opportunities you see listed are either due to how we are doing comparatively to other online learning institutions or in comparison to ourselves year over year. 

As part of reviewing/analyzing the results, we also held feedback groups with students, staff, and faculty. All sessions were recorded and comments written down. We went over all of the focus group feedback with school leadership and the feedback was then used to help us create our Institutional Action Plan for the academic year.

Below is a summary of our top action items for the 2017-2018 academic year:

  • Improve your feelings of connectedness to the campus community by increasing our communication to you on student events, student clubs and organization, and social media opportunities that you can participate in. We’ve also started a student newsletter, graduation recognition ceremony, and a student achievement award to recognize your accomplishments. 
  • Improve the quality of tutoring services through ThinkingStorm. We are testing a system where Art Institute students act as tutors for more difficult software subjects. These students will have extensive knowledge of the courses and software being supported.
  • Improve the communication between you and our counseling staff through increased outreach via phone and email. We have also created an email alias ( that when emailed receives a prompt response from our leadership team.
  • Improve your experience in the online classroom through continuous course content improvements, digital textbook accuracy, and reviewing assignments for clarity. Faculty will continue to be trained in Brightspace and the latest developments in online education.

We look forward to hearing from you again in January 2018 in our annual Priorities Survey for Online Learners Survey. In the meantime, please feel free to give us feedback at any time to

Source: “Priorities Survey for Online Learners.” Priorities Survey for Online Learners, Retaining Students in Distance Education | Ruffalo Noel Levitz,

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By: Jen Greenwood

August 21, 2017