Jennifer Dunn

Broad College of Business

Pilot Use of Qualtrics 360 Tool to Provide Multi-Rater Feedback to Students

I teach a course on ethics and social responsibility. I propose using Qualtrics 360, a multi-rater feedback platform, to collect and disseminate feedback on students’ trustworthiness, inclusiveness and moral courage. This feedback would be used to identify gaps in self and other perceptions, and serve as a springboard for change.

Project Solution:

The MBA 806 course is a required course on ethics and social responsibility for all graduating Full-Time MBA students. One of the major lessons in the course is “you are not as ethical as you think you are”, which they learn through examples of other ambitious, professionals who have been caught behaving unethically in organizations. Despite these examples, most students carry a self-serving bias about their own ethical character, which often becomes a “halo effect” in which they see themselves as similarly high across all ethical attributes, whereas their peers may see significantly more variance. Getting a 360 report that explicitly contrasts their own self-assessment with the assessments of their peers would help them see those gaps. The full-time MBA program is a small group of about 80 students. Their peers’ impressions have developed over 16 months of interaction inside and outside of the classroom. By getting anonymous feedback from a subset of these peers, they will have a clearer idea of what reputation they have developed over the past year and a half, and can then reflect on how their actions have led to those reputations and where they may aim to change their behaviors.

Given the self-relevance of the feedback, I expect students will engage more with the course material that addresses these different attributes and be more motivated to improve upon their behaviors. The majority of topics covered in the course relate back to one or more of the areas assessed in the feedback. Thus, this is not information that will be viewed once and forgotten, but instead used as a basis for driving several of our class lessons. Providing feedback to their peers would also push them to think more deeply about what underlies each of these attributes, and to contrast their peers’ behaviors with their own.

My intention is to improve MBA 806 students’ competencies in three areas: self-awareness, ethical behavior and delivering/receiving constructive feedback. As future professionals in the business world, my MBA students need an accurate understanding of how others perceive certain characteristics (e.g., trustworthiness, ethical leadership, inclusiveness and courage) and where they have weaknesses in these areas. Qualtrics has created a robust 360 feedback tool that is based on the same Qualtrics survey platform that MSU uses broadly. The 360 tool is not part of our current license at MSU, but is available to license by course, program or enterprise-wide.

My short-term goal with this grant is to pilot the 360 tool in my classroom to get students more robust and detailed feedback about their ethical reputations among peers, so that they can identify areas to work on and gaps in their own and their peers’ assessments. My long-term goal is to find a solution through Qualtrics, MSU-development or another provider that provides students a single feedback dashboard by which they can log in, provide feedback to others, and track their own feedback and development across different skillsets and classes in the program. Taken together, frequent compiled feedback should allow our students to get a deeper understanding of their strengths and weaknesses and establish a “feedback culture” in which there is an expectation to deliver constructive feedback and to take action from feedback received.

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