Part 10


Faculty Engagement Survey Part 10 (January 2016)

Question: Does your institution use a listserv/mailing list to maintain a continuous discussion and idea exchange with faculty and staff?


  • Removed one anonymous reply.
  • Split respondents into two groups – those who use this strategy (2 respondents) and those who do not (8)
  • Calculated data for questions 1 and 2.
  • Categorized and summarized responses to questions 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7.


  • Data based on 13 responses from 12/8 to 12/11, 2014 and 1/11, 2016



0. Do you use this strategy?

Yes = 5

No = 8
1. How effective do you feel it is?

Group 1 (Using this strategy):

Scale 1=Very ineffective  |   5=Very effective

Mean 2.80
SD 0.84
Median 3.0
Mode 2.0

Group 2 (Not using this strategy): (4 respondents entered a value)

Scale 1=Very ineffective  |   5=Very effective

Mean 2.67
SD 0.58
Median 3
Mode 3
2. Are you planning to continue or discontinue using it?
Discontinue 0
Continue 5
N/A 8
3. List the three main benefits of using this strategy.

Group 1 (Using this strategy)

  • Uses a familiar channel, email which is common in most institutions and usually checked frequently by instructors (3)
  • Good for specific, interested audience and purpose (2)
  • Convenient and easy way to throw question or idea out to a large number of people at one time (1)
  • Available as needed (1)
  • Accessing previous posts if catch-up is needed (1)
    • Using an online tool with archiving function, such as Google Groups, can help with accessing precious posts (1)
  • Can be used without logging into a web interface (1)
  • Provides a written record of interactions (1)
  • Can help drive recipients to websites with additional info (1)

Group 2 (Not using this strategy)

  • Saves time when emailing multiple groups of people (1)
  • Listservs can help separate messages to specific groups or people (1)
  • Certainty that faculty received info (1)
  • Messages are internal (but may not stay that way) (1)
  • Works well in conjunction with other forms of communication (1)
4. List the three main issues to consider when using or introducing this strategy.

Group 1 (Using this strategy)

  • Has not had widespread adoption (1)
  • Distributed use and ownership can lead to lack of control of messaging (1)
  • May lead to email overload, especially if users ‘reply to all’, which ties into how often list managers should post to the list (3)
  • Orient new users to what is available (1)
  • Try to have a search function of topics (1)
  • Have list monitor who can remind greater group of users when significant change or event happens (1)
  • Consider that many posts may not be well written (1)
  • Should a separate list be kept for adjuncts or other unique groups? (1)
  • Consider what tool to use – Google Groups may work well (1)
  • Have a strategy for keeping the list up-to-date (1)
  • Provide a way for people to opt out (1)
  • Encourage posters to include contact info in messages, in case there is a need for follow-up from anyone (1)

Group 2 (Not using this strategy)

  • Messages may get overlooked or drowned out in sea of other emails (2)
  • No way to verify of recipients are actually reading messages (1)
  • People on listserv could receive multiple messages from everyone on the listserv (1)
  • Can your email system handle increase in messages? (1)
  • Some users do not care to receive messages (1)
  • Does your audience really use email to communicate? (1)
  • Is email the primary communication form of your intended recipients? (1)
  • What is your strategy for removing ‘dead’ email accounts? (1)
5. Which strategy do you think holds the biggest potential for faculty engagement? See the Biggest Potential page.
6. What is the biggest obstacle to faculty engagement and training at your institution?
  • Time (23)
    • Faculty having difficult prioritizing their time between need for conducting research and working to improve their teaching skills and pedagogy
  • Teaching and Educational innovations, including effective use of educational technology, are not part of faculty evaluation criteria (3)
  • Faculty attitudes toward use and implementation of technology in the classroom and fear of the unknown (2)
  • Lack of incentives for faculty to devote time to improving their teaching methods (2)
  • Instructor lack of understanding about the potential for big instructional gains with engagement and a small time commitment (2)
  • Teaching and use of instructional technology are valued less than research and publication (particularly at some research universities (1)
  • Changing nature of technology and faculty needing to/failing to keep up with developments (1)
  • Lack of clear policy or standards for training before teaching online or blended courses (1)
  • Lack of coordinated and well-structured center for faculty to consult with educational technology specialists (1)
  • Lack of personnel resources (1)
  • Making faculty feel valued for participating (1)
  • Change fatigue (1)
  • Getting faculty to commit to working on integrating educational technology into their teaching (1)
  • Faculty governance reduces operational effectiveness that could require specific training and professional development be met and/or maintained (1)
  • Some colleges preferring workshops specifically for them instead of participating in mixed workshops with attendees from other colleges (1)
  • Lack of support from administration (1)
  • Demonization of online learning (1)
  • Identifying the most apparent need, from the perspective of the faculty (1)
  • Faculty resistance to ‘training’ (1)
  • Gaining faculty attention (1)
  • The need for changing strategies to accommodate changing needs together with the personnel to manage this (1)
7. Other comments

Group 1 (Using this strategy)

  • The primary drawback in my environment is a lack of notification to new members of the organization and no reference to backgrounds - raising questions like “who is the expert? How likely is any of this to be implemented? Who can affect the change?”
  • MailChimp has great analytics for sending out a monthly newsletter

Group 2 (Not using this strategy)

  • We do not use this strategy when contacting the faculty and staff; however, we use it for our internal communication. We have an IT Status listserv for anyone that signs up, which informs the campus of status updates when conducting maintenance or campus outages.
Institutions that have responded

Cycle 1 (March 2014 - March 2015):

  • University of Texas at Arlington
  • Towson University
  • Macalester College
  • Cornell
  • Beloit College
  • Genesee Community College
  • Bacone College
  • St. Catherine University
  • Harvard
  • University of South Florida, St. Petersburg

Cycle 2 (April 2015 - April 2016):

  • Umass med school
  • Oklahoma Christian University
  • The University of Alabama

Compiled in January 2016.