Students in Service and Leadership at Harvard

William's Blueprint for Action

Here are some of the principle findings of my research:
1. The Mid-Year Survey is a formative tool for reflection

In this research, I learned the mid-year survey has been designed by the Advising Programs Office for PAFs to reflect on their performance. In essence, the survey is a formative tool that is supposed to help PAFs identify what is going well and what needs to improve. However, the PAFs often see the Mid-Year survey differently, as an evaluative judgement on their performance.

One action step we can take is to reinforce the communication around the survey and highlight the formative goals of the survey and the importance for PAFs to reflect on and improve their performance.

2. PAFs want faster feedback and more accountability.

In line with reflection, some PAFs feel like they receive the results of the mid-year survey too late into the spring semester. Having one-on-one conversations with every single PAF takes a long time for one administrator to handle. Furthermore, many PAFs want more metrics on how well they are doing.

One proposed solution is for proctors to deliver survey results to the PAFs and facilitate reflection with the PAFs. Since not all PAFs may feel comfortable with this, we can ask PAFs to opt into this alternate way of receiving feedback to expedite the process.

3. The survey can educate first-year students on the responsibilities of a PAF.

In my conversations with first-years, it is surprising that not all first-years can articulate the responsibilities of a PAF clearly. Furthermore, the questions on the survey are so open-ended where it’s hard to understand what respondents are thinking.

We can tackle these two issues by aligning our survey questions more with the internal PAF rubric. By increasing the level of specificity of these questions, respondents of the survey will get a sense for what is expected of PAFs and be empowered to use PAFs more as a resource.

Below is a new version of the PAF survey modified to align the survey more to the internal PAF rubric. The goal is to launch this for the 2019-2020 academic year.


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