Chapter 1 Preface

This short book contains data and graphics that summarize the responses of international students to the “SGU Communications Success” questionnaire. The purpose behind the questionnaire was to learn—from students—two different types of information: (a) how important they perceive certain communications skills to be and (b) how frequently they do certain tasks in order to be successful during their time at SGU. The questions included in the questionnaire were identified through an analysis of the many documents that preclinical (PCLN) and medical (SOM) students have access to on their different courses’ Sakai pages.

1.1 Questionnaire Administration

The “SGU Communications Success” questionnaire was administered to international students through the ISO international student list-serv. The questionnaire was sent out to students on about September 13th, and it was closed on about October 1st. The questionnaire was an electronic Qualtrics questionnaire; the questionnaire was approved by both SGU’s IRB and their survey approval committee. It took students about eight minutes to complete the questionnaire, and students were not compensated for completing it.

1.2 Response and Completion Rates

About 141 international students attempted the questionnaire. Out of 141, 108 students completed the questionnaire, and 33 students didn’t complete it. About 10% of international students in the medical track (PCLN and SOM) completed the questionnaire, and about 15% of international students in the veterinary track completed it. About 12 students in the School of Arts and Sciences completed the questionnaire, but their responses were excluded for the time being because they are not the main test-taker population in SELP.

Breakdown of International Students at SGU by School and Program
School/Program Students
SOM (MD4) 661
PCLN 1–3 133
EMP PCLN 1–3 45
Prevet 1–3 11

1.3 Breakdown of Responses in Following Chapters

The following chapters summarize students’ responses to different groups of questions on the SGU Communications Success questionnaire. Students responses are summarized in three different breakdowns. First, complete responses from 96 students in all programs–including some incomplete responses–are shown. Second, complete responses are broken down by students currently in PCLN (25) and SOM (63) programs. Finally, responses are broken down for just Med (85) and Vet (11) students.

1.4 More about Questions on the Questionnaire

The “SGU Communications Success” questionnaire included questions that targeted more than just skills and tasks. However, skills and tasks were the main “unit of analysis” for the questionnaire because SELP faculties’ beliefs about English teaching and learning are predominantly informed by skills- and task-based approaches to teaching and learning. Skills and tasks were operationalized as questions in the questionnaire if they were explicitly identified in the document analysis; there are certainly other skills and tasks that are important for SGU students. The questionnaire also included questions about other informaion, such as question types, professional behaviors, text types, multiple-choice question types, and community building because these were identified as potentially important areas for test and curriculum development.