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Office of Institutional Research

Assessment Surveys at the University at Albany

**Current, Fall 2014**

UAlbany Dining Survey (October, 2014; combination paper survey at dining halls, web survey of people with meal plans)

Survey on Non-Medical Prescription Drug Use (October, 2014; sample of UAlbany students)


For more information on current surveys, as well as those from previous semesters, please click here (the most recent surveys are at the top).

For reports on some of our most important institutional surveys, click here (the most recent reports are at the top).


Frequently Asked Questions:

"If the survey is confidential, why did the e-mail have my name and/or why do I need to log in?"

For most surveys we conduct at UAlbany, we send e-mails with links that automatically log you into the survey. Log-in is required to ensure the validity of the survey data -- to make sure that only UAlbany students, faculty or staff are taking the survey and that no one takes it more than once. We use your name on the invitation because it's more polite and welcoming than "Dear Student." If the survey invitation says the survey is "confidential" but not "anonymous" that generally means that we do retain your UAlbany ID number in the survey data file, in order to be able to match your survey responses with key academic and demographic variables without burdening you with a much longer survey. Even though we have your ID number, we promise complete confidentiality -- any reporting of the survey data will be only in aggregate form. You will never be personally identified in any way and your survey responses will not become part of your student record.

For some surveys, such as the current UAlbany Survey on Mobile Device Security and the recently completed UAlbany Survey on Research and Scholarship Resources, we are able to make the survey data completely anonymous, while still having the same log-in process as usual. In those cases, the online system we use to send the e-mail invitations and host the surveys keeps log-in information in an entirely separate data set from the survey response data. It is impossible to match the two data sets. Neither your ID number nor any other identifying information will be included in the survey data set. In this way, we ensure that your survey responses are both valid and completely anonymous.

"Why do you conduct surveys?"

The University at Albany conducts a number of surveys of its students, faculty, staff and alumni as part of its ongoing process of assessing our performance, and identifying areas of institutional strength as well as areas which require additional attention or policy change. These range from comprehensive assessment surveys of the undergraduate or graduate student experience, to quick, short surveys on a particular topic (for example, most recently the NY-Alert system survey in October, 2008).

"What Surveys Are Happening Now?"

For a look of surveys going on at UAlbany this semester, please click here (the most recent surveys are at the top).

Policy on Surveys of UAlbany Populations

It is continuing policy that all survey and focus group activity involving UAlbany students, faculty, staff or alumni must be coordinated with the Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Effectiveness (IRPE).

  • This policy applies even when you are surveying within your own unit of the University.
  • This policy applies even to surveys and focus groups used only internally for assessment purposes.
  • Exceptions are surveys: (1) used only for course evaluation or teaching purposes; or (2) involving the Psychology 101 student pool.

A copy of the most recent memorandum of this policy can be viewed here.

Obtaining Approval for Surveys of UAlbany Populations

  • As a first step, contact UAlbany's Office of Regulatory Research Compliance to determine whether your survey or focus group activity requires IRB approval. In general, surveys that are used only for internal assessment purposes do not require IRB approval, but that is the IRB's determination to make.
  • If you are going through the IRB process, simply send electronic copies of all the files you are submitting to the IRB to Joel Bloom at UAlbany's Office of Institutional Research, Planning & Effectiveness (IRPE), at uasurvey@albany.edu.
  • If the IRB determines that you do not need their approval, please send all relevant information about the nature of the research, the timing, information on how participants will be recruited, including the text of all recruitment letters, e-mails and posters, information on who will be contacted, and a copy of all survey instruments to Joel Bloom at UAlbany's Office of Institutional Research, Planning & Effectiveness (IRPE), at uasurvey@albany.edu.
  • For smaller projects, we are generally able to let you know within 1-2 business days; larger projects may require additional time to enable coordination with other surveys.

If you have any questions or concerns about Surveys at UAlbany, please contact Joel Bloom, IRPE's Director of Assessment and Survey Research.

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