ACTION RESEARCH QUESTIONS

Guiding Research Question: Can the design of an integrated "one-stop" delivery of student services be effective in meeting the needs of the students as well as the organizational and administrative needs of the university?

Action: Design and implementation of an integrated approach for delivery of student services.

Possible outcomes:

  • Effective or non-effective service to students
    - Measure student satisfaction via questionnaires
    - Focus groups with students to discuss student needs and how effectively they are being met, including their descriptions of their experience in receiving service and level of confidence in having their needs met.
    - Compare student responses to responses of student satisfaction focus groups' comments collected in 1998
  • Effective or non-effective in meeting university organizational and administrative needs
    - Random quality assurance audit of 100 student records of students served through OneStop on SIS to determine throughness, completeness and accuracy of student records
    - Survey home offices to determine number of corrections necessary to student records for above audited records
    - Survey home offices to determine problems created or not able to be solved by OneStop

First Cycle

Action:

  1. Work with the Student Services Council to identify and confirm list of services that the various student services provide at the front desk, services that students need to be performed on a general level.
  2. Work with the Student Services Council to explore how these services are currently being provided or delivered. Where are they being provided? What student services are requiring students to make more than one stop? What are some overlaps in the services being provided?

 

Second Cycle

Action Research Question for this cycle: Can a generalist who has been trained to perform tasks traditionally carried out in specific functional areas (home offices) provide effective service to meet the students' admininstrative needs?

In this cycle, I will need to work with different departments to determine the following:

  • What are the services that functional areas are willing to allow a generalist outside of their respective areas to perform?
  • What implications does this new operating structure have on record keeping and accountability?
  • How will the traditional view of "territory" affect the willingness to let go?
  • What are the reasons for the various functions to reside where they do traditionally? Can the new structure still honor and uphold the validity of those reasons while still allowing for the integration of the delivery of those services?

Action: Provide cross-functional training to generalist

Possible reactions: Resistance to providing training due to limited staff time and resources. If training can be provided, the result could be effectively meeting the administrative needs of the students.

First Step: Engage directors of functional areas in identifying and confirming the list of possible trainers who would train the generalists on the tasks previously determined. (Reflection: Training must be done in the context of meeting student need rather than merely memorizing a set of steps to be performed.)

Second Step: Choose current staff who are familiar with SIS and who have had a proven history of effective student service. (Reflection: This will require the Student Services Council towork together to determine the behavior and service styles that have proven to be effective in delivering student services.)

A critical part of this cycle of training is the information access needed to effectively perform administrative tasks. The question here is: Does allowing the generalist full access to student information on our Student Information System assist in the staff's ability to provide effective service to meet the student's administrative needs while maintaining integrity to university records?

Action: Allow generalist full access to student information system

Possible reaction: Reistance to letting others have access to information that is normally restricted to specific functional areas only. However, complete information can allow staff to provide more complete answers to students' questions as well as effective service without requiring the students to engage in a complex process of information gathering prior to being served.

First Step: Engage directors from each functional area to provide list of screens on SIS staff members would need to have access in order to provide the services listed in the task list confirmed by the Student Services Council.

Third Cycle

Action Research Question for this cycle: Does the integrated method of delivering students services effectively meet the students' as well as the university's administrative needs?

In this cycle, I will evaluate the effectiveness of the survey through the audits of student records in two critical transactions: 1) withdrawal from school and 2) requesting and getting a refund. These two processes involve multiple offices and complex processes. Analyzing the process and the results of the integrated process will yield critical information regarding whether or not the services are indeed effective in meeting both the students' and the university's administrative needs. In addition, I will send out a survey to the students, the recipients of the integrated services, to get their feedback regarding whether or not this method is effective in meeting their needs.

Action: Audit 40 withdrawal records and 30 student refund records. Survey 100 randomly selected students.

Possible reaction: I am expecting to find that the student records will be complete, and that information was sent and received by the home offices in a timely fashion. Students will find that this process is much more student-centered and effective in meeting their needs.

 

 

Action Research Home Page Next: Cycle 1

Literature Review | Action Research Questions | Project Timeline | Cycle 1 | Cycle 2 | Cycle 3 | Final Reflections

Appendix
Journal | Brochure | Article for Publication | Presentation to Tulane | References

E-mail Hung V. Le

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