HEWeb #OCS1: Listening to students and applying their feedback

Monday, October 9th, 2023

Angela Cavaliere – Montgomery County Community College
Monday, October 9, 2023, 8:30 AM – 9:15 AM EDT 

Montgomery County Community College relies heavily on student and user input when ensuring that the college’s technology is usable and that processes are set up in a way that makes sense for our users. We developed the concept of the Student Usability Board five years ago to obtain input surrounding technology investments, communications and process changes. The board is composed of 13 students with diverse representation, and it has grown to become well-known and respected across the institution. This session provides detail surrounding getting approval to start your own board, setting up stipend compensation, recruiting diverse students, managing meetings, and recording and distributing feedback via reports. We will also cover best practices on facilitating different types of focus groups and how to be sure you are getting the information that you need to foster change in each session.


  • Another CC, yeah!
  • Most students are part time. Many are over 26
  • Students want to feel that they are heard. They fill out surveys and want to know that something is being done with the info they provide.
  • 5 users can uncover 85% of your biggest usability issues: Nielsen Norman
  • Entice: started with pizza, but students were quickly pizza’d out.
    • Started with a credit (botu $174) to their bill, or directly to account
    • They were able to increase to $250 a semester
  • Changed to online (teams) during the pandemic. It worked even better. Easier for active students to commit. Also it is automatically recorded
  • Get about 75 applications to do testing each term. More than enough to find a diverse set of students.
  • Camera is required, but they are upfront about it.
  • Minimum 6 sessions a semester. 6-8 hours during the semester required
  • Takes 2 employees for each session. one takes notes, on drives.
  • When it comes to surveys – the students are more likely to open an email form someone they know. They tested out send the emails from their advisors. It worked well.
  • Whenever a change is made based on student feedback, they let the students know that made a difference.

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