What is the difference between percent favorable and means?

Panorama offers two ways for scoring your survey results, Percent Favorable and Means. Knowing the difference between the two can help you gain meaningful insight into what the strengths or opportunities for each topic are.   

Across all topics, higher scores mean that students are doing well in that area and lower scores mean there is room for improvement. A "high" score means that students feel more favorable or positively about a specific topic, while a "low" score means that they don't feel as positively about it. 

Let's see a couple of examples: 

The favorable answers for the question within one of our topics " How often do you stay focused on the same goal for more than 3 months at a time?" are "Almost always" and "Frequently", while another question is "How confident are you that you can learn all the material presented in your classes?" with the two favorable or "positive" answers being "Quite confident" and "Extremely confident, the more students that select those favorable answers, the higher the score for each question. This also applies at the topic level, the higher the number of positive or favorable responses, the higher the topic score is.

Why Percent Favorable?

Some of your results might be scored as a percent favorable. The number you see here represents the percentage of respondents who selected a favorable or "positive" answer choice. Usually, the top two answer choices are favorable for a question with five answer choices.

It is important to note that answers we consider as “neutral” are not included when calculating the percent favorable. Neutral answers are normally something like “I don’t know” or “N/A”.

In addition, for some questions, we reverse our interpretation if the question is negatively coded. For example, if the question is “I hate being in school”, we reverse the scale on a favorable answer of “strongly agree” so it’s considered as “negative” or “unfavorable”.   

Why Means?

In addition to percent favorable, some of your survey results might be scored as means. With means, numerical values are assigned to answer choices and report the average (mean) value. The more favorable or "positive" answer choices are assigned higher value, and the less favorable answer choices are assigned lower values. 

The mean score is the average of the values of respondents’ answers. This makes it so that no response option is inherently considered “favorable” or “unfavorable”. This option provides a less binary view of the report data, and can often be helpful when sharing student data with teachers.

For example, we would assign a numerical value of 1 to the least favorable answer, and 5 to the most favorable answer. If everyone answered the least favorable answer on a question, it's scored as 1/5. If everyone answered the highest answer, it's scored as 5/5. If half of the respondents answer the least favorable and half answer the most favorable, the mean score would be 2.5/5. 

Please note that answers are designated as “positive,” “negative,” or “neutral” when they are defined in the system. Panorama instruments always offer a middle answer choice in order to avoid forced choice in survey-taking. The middle answer is not considered favorable.

We hope that this resource is helpful. As always, if you have any additional questions. Please reach out to our Support team at support@panoramaed.com.

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