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What is the difference between percent favorable and mean scoring?

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Panorama offers two ways for viewing your survey results, Percent Favorable and MeanKnowing how to read each help you gain meaningful insight into potential strengths or opportunities for each topic area.   

Across all topics, higher scores mean that students are doing well in that area and lower scores mean there is a need for additional support. A "high" score means that students report feeling more positively about a specific topic, while a "low" score means that they don't feel as positively about it. As always when looking at data, it is important to remember that numbers or scores without context have little meaning. Tools like national benchmarks are offered in the platform to help you better understand how your school or district's scores compare to others, and also take into account additional considerations, such as school setting, school level, and percentage of students who receive free and reduced price lunch.

Understanding Percent Favorable Scoring

Most of your results will be reported as a percent favorable. The number you see 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, but exactly which answer choices are considered favorable depends on the question and number of answer choices. For example, for Panorama question with seven answer choices, we will consider the top three answer choices as favorable.

It is important to note that answers we consider neutral are not included when calculating the percent favorable. Neutral answers are normally something like “I don’t know” or “N/A”. Middle answer choices, which often include words such as somewhat or sometimes, are offered in order to avoid forced choice in survey-taking. The middle answer is not considered favorable.

You can click on the question marks within the platform to learn more.

You can always dive deeper into the specific responses by selecting a topic and then scrolling to the bottom of the page to review question-level responses. For example, I might want to explore this question within Self-Management, which has had a significant increase since last year's survey.

The favorable answers for the question "During the past 30 days...How often were you polite to adults?" are Almost always and Frequently. The more students that select those favorable answers, the higher the score for each question. You can see the exact breakdown of how students responded in the chart on the left. You can also see that the favorable choices are highlighted in green while the unfavorable options are orange.

Understanding Mean Scoring

In addition to percent favorable, some of your survey results, such as your individual student SEL reports, might be reported in mean scoring. This means that numerical values are assigned to answer choices and you'll see reported the average (mean) value. 

The mean score is the average of the values of respondents’ answers. The more favorable or "positive" answer choices are assigned higher value, and the less favorable answer choices are assigned lower values. This means no response option is inherently considered “favorable” or “unfavorable” and results in a less binary view of the report data, which is essential when reviewing individual student data.

For example, we would assign a numerical value of 1 to the least favorable answer, and 5 to the most favorable answer of a question like "How sure are you that you can complete all the work that is assigned in your class?". If everyone selected the least favorable option, Not at all sure, the average would be 1.0 out of 5. If everyone selected Extremely Sure, the mean score would be 5.0 out of 5. And if half of respondents select the least favorable option and half select the most favorable option, the mean score would be 2.5/ out of 5. 

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