The Results Are In! (Executive Summary from Fall 2018 KDP Membership Survey)

In KDP’s continuing efforts to provide the most relevant services and experiences for members, we conduct an annual survey to encourage feedback. Following are some of the key results and recommendations from the survey.

The 2018 survey was split into four primary member groups—undergraduates, graduate (both master’s and doctoral) students, practitioners, and faculty members—and conducted between October 1 and November 9, with 3,765 participants.

Although specialized surveys were provided for these groups, some consistent themes appeared across all segments. These primarily included collaboration with colleagues and mentoring as well as the desire for online learning capacity.

Undergraduates

Of the more than 12,000 KDP members in this category, 1,823 responded—or about 15% of this membership segment. This category of membership can include anyone who is enrolled in an undergraduate program, regardless of format or degree type.

The most beneficial way that KDP could assist undergraduates—as identified by 73% of respondents—is by providing practical, easy-to implement strategies and ideas in a handbook.

Mentors and colleague collaboration were chosen as the most preferable ways to get additional training. Online learning was identified as a close third.

Of those who responded, 90% would or might participate in a virtual career fair.

Almost 65% were interested in gaining additional credentials via online methods, but almost 30% said they were unfamiliar with this idea/product.

Slightly more than 71% either do not have or are unfamiliar with an e-portfolio.

New tools like the Educator Learning Network that KDP launched in November 2018 can provide significant benefits and be valuable to this segment as it moves into the workforce. Additionally, continuing to create a more robust environment for mentor/mentee relationships will be appreciated and will set them up for greater success in the classroom.

Graduate Students

We had 413 respondents to this survey, or roughly 19% of this member group. This group is comprised of individuals in graduate or doctoral programs. More than half the respondents were in a master’s program.

Mentoring and colleague collaboration ranked as the two most important needs, while getting additional training with online learning ran a close third.

Practical, easy-to implement strategies and ideas provided in a handbook was the top choice for how KDP could assist graduate students (66%), while more than 61% selected online professional development.

Almost 74% were interested in gaining additional credentials via online methods. However, more than 75% either do not have or are unfamiliar with an e-portfolio.

From the open-ended responses, mentoring and community networking were identified as the greatest things KDP could do for this segment. Providing resources also was referenced as desirable. Additionally, the need for collaboration and guidance was significant; therefore, building an appropriate environment to support this networking will be critical to serving this group.

Practitioners

For this survey group, more than 1,170 people replied, or about 7% of this membership segment, which is comprised of teachers in any position from Pre-K through secondary grades.

Only about 66% of respondents said they were currently teaching, with 82% of them working in the PreK–12 area.

Respondents identified work/life balance, time management, and classroom management as key issues for those entering the classroom.

Respondents felt having mentors and colleague collaboration are the best ways for newer teachers to get help in areas for which they were not prepared.

Receiving practical, easy-to implement strategies and ideas provided in a handbook was the top choice for how KDP could assist practitioners (64%), while online professional development was most important for more than 58%.

Again, a surprising number—75%—either do not have or are unfamiliar with an e-portfolio.

Mentor and colleague collaboration were listed as the strongest ways KDP could assist this group, with training with online learning a close third. Help is also needed for accessing additional training, information, and/or resources.

This group requested more resources for classroom success. This included specialized resources such as for math, physical education, and music, but also more support from quick-to-read tips, advice, and materials. Getting personal support from colleagues in the field was huge! Creating a more robust support network is critical to their retention in the profession as well as in KDP.

Higher Education Faculty

For this survey, 357 people responded, or about 20% of our membership base in this category. These are members who self-identify as a professor, dean, or higher ed administrator.

Of those who responded, 65% feel online training and micro-credentials would help their students be better prepared for the classroom. This was followed closely by local opportunities and leadership training.

Almost 68% said KDP should develop complimentary online courses to help students.

Additionally, more than 82% felt KDP should develop online classes or mini-courses that faculty could use for blended learning.

More than 115 respondents requested more opportunities to get published or present work. This was more than double of any other support area requested from KDP for higher education faculty.

Mentoring for their students was identified as the second most important way KDP could help graduates, with 45 such requests in the open-ended question.

Strong support exists for additional professional development or learning opportunities that would enhance their students’ degree work. Issues such as classroom management, assessment, differentiated instruction, and technology were identified as top issues for additional training and support for their students. Additional professional development ELN courses and webinars would be helpful.

For faculty members, KDP needs to continue to provide as many opportunities for publishing and presenting as possible. This could include developing new vehicles for publishing or presenting.

General Recommendations

Community development would be a tremendous asset to many who have left the college environment. People want colleague collaboration and support. This can exhibit itself in multiple ways to best support educators across the professional spectrum. Communities need to be developed both online and in person. They can be founded on broad-based topics as well as niche/specialty areas. A need exists within geographical communities for support and understanding of state and regional nuances and policies. Mentoring is a critical piece of community support.

Professional development and training remain important needs for all groups. With the Educator Learning Network, we can address several major concerns identified in this survey. ELN can provide the infrastructure for community development, job preparation, and professional development.

For questions about the survey or results, please contact Christopher Whited, Director of Membership & Chapter Services, at christopher@kdp.org or by calling 800-284-3167.

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