Survey Policies and Procedures
UVI Survey Program
The office of Institutional Research coordinates the administration of surveys at the University of the Virgin Islands. OIR administers the following university sponsored surveys.
BCSSE – Beginning college student engagement survey (every year)
NSEE – National Student engagement survey (every two years)
FSSE – Faculty student engagement survey (Every 2 years)
Noel Levitz – National Student satisfaction survey (every 3 to 4 years)
UVI Senior Exit Interview (every year)
OIR also coordinates and administer ad-hoc surveys. In order to guard against over-surveying and potentially unrepresentative survey data, the OIR aims to prioritize surveys with higher potential to inform decision-making and planning. OIR will consider all survey requests and will recommend the best ways in which the information could be gathered.
Participation in UVI surveys is always voluntary and participants are free to opt-out without penalty. Respondents are free to discontinue their participation at any time, for any reasons, even after they have provided consent.
The invitation message or introduction message must clearly state whether the survey is confidential or anonymous. For directly emailed surveys, it is highly encouraged to provide an opt-out link or procedure.
An anonymous survey is one where responses cannot be associated with individuals unless the respondent answers the survey questions in a way that uniquely identifies them. Even if the respondent is uniquely identifiable due to a unique combination of responses, survey administrators must not make any effort to determine that identity.
With a confidential survey, each survey respondent receives an individualized survey link that enables survey administrators to associate the response with the respondent. This means other demographic and institutional data may be merged with survey responses for analysis. Researchers will ensure that data is stored securely. In the normal course of events, unit record data is not shared with anyone outside the project and results will not be reported in a way that could identify individual respondents.
Use of Official University Communication Channels
The use of direct email to advertise surveys is restricted to institutionally sponsored surveys. For institutional sponsored surveys, the invitation email will be sent from the office of Institutional Research or from the entity administering the survey on behalf of UVI (BSCEE, NSSE, FSSE). UVI Messaging can also be used to announce and promote institutional surveys.
Procedures for Conducting a Survey
Persons are encouraged to contact the Office of Institutional Research before conducting a survey to avoid over-surveying UVI staff, faculty and more importantly, students.
Survey incentives monetary or other rewards are usually discouraged.
Institutional Research staff are also available, time permitting, to advise on survey design.
Some surveys may be subject to review by UVI Institutional Review Board (IRB), which ensures that no human subjects are harmed by research projects, but please note that IRB approval or exemption does not imply institutional approval or sponsorship of a survey. The IRB reviews proposals in which human participants are involved in research, with “research” defined as “an activity designed to test a hypothesis, permit conclusions to be drawn, and thereby develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge.” Notably, some projects that involve human participants are not considered research, and would thus not require IRB review, because their intent is to document a historical event or the experiences of individuals, rather than to have predictive value or lead to the development or testing of a hypothesis (e.g., oral histories, ethnographies, documentaries, and other journalistic inquiries). Finally, note that whether an investigator intends to publish his or her results is not relevant to whether the project requires IRB review.
- Surveys for Coursework
Student surveys conducted as part of academic coursework are not subject to oversight or coordination by Institutional Research. For these surveys, it is the instructor’s responsibility to ensure that student surveys are ethical, do not pose risk to human subjects, and follow the college’s surveying policies and procedures.
- Surveys for Academic Research
Surveys conducted as part of academic research projects (excluding coursework) are not subject to oversight or coordination by Institutional Research unless they are targeting large college populations (faculty, staff, students, or alumni). They are, however, subject to Institutional Review Board review and expected to adhere to the policies and procedures described here.
- Surveys by Outside Entities
UVI will, on some occasions, agree to participate in surveys initiated by outside researchers or organizations. Participation in such projects must get the approval of senior staff. Institutionally sponsored survey projects will always take priority over surveys initiated by outside groups.
Survey administrators are encouraged to use Microsoft Forms for their surveys. For those needing more advanced capabilities, Institutional Research staff can provide access to SurveyMonkey Premium.
No support will be provided to survey administrator choosing to use any survey engine outside Microsoft form.