The GEAR UP Student Survey program looks to track the number of students who have college aspirations over a five year period. With a total of 5,921 students being surveyed from 47 different schools, see why WestEd decided to use Remark Office OMR to assist in its data collection.


Will Roscoe first used Remark Office OMR at a fundraising consulting company for three years to tabulate membership and constituent surveys, which were tabulated manually before incorporating the software. According to Mr. Roscoe, “I was familiar with the product and its quality, so I recommended it for adoption in my current position.” Mr. Roscoe is a Research Assistant at WestEd, which focuses on educational research and development, and provides evaluation services for the California GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs – The program serves 48+ schools around the state with the goal of increasing the number of low-income and minority students who go to college by providing services starting in middle school.

The Challenge

The GEAR UP Student Survey has five standard questions regarding students’ knowledge and aspirations about going to college. Although the survey is simple, it gives valuable insight into the students’ goals. With WestEd’s support, the survey was recently administered in 47 schools with a total of 5,921 surveys submitted for tabulation. As the survey is given each year for the next five years, the hope is to see the number of students who aspire to a college degree increase.

Remark Office OMR enabled WestEd to undertake this survey as well as other projects that they would not have been able to complete without the software. A recently administered feedback survey, for example, required more than eight and a half hours to manually tabulate 383 forms. Before adopting Remark Office OMR, the GEAR UP Student Survey was given at only one school. According to Mr. Roscoe, “Thanks to the Remark program we were able to administer the survey to a much larger number of students at many more schools.” GEAR UP had never attempted such a large scale administration of the survey before.

The Solution

The GEAR UP survey was administered in November and December 2012 to selected classrooms of middle school students throughout the state. The 47 schools all printed their own forms from a PDF file and mailed the completed surveys to WestEd for tabulation. For scanning the completed forms, WestED utilized three Ricoh multi-function printers (scanner/printer/copier/fax), the fastest being a Ricoh 1107EX, which is configured to scan the forms to multi-page PDF files and email them to Mr. Roscoe’s desktop computer.

Despite receiving forms from multiple sources, Mr. Roscoe encountered extremely few exceptions, which he credits to the fact that the respondents are school aged kids who are accustomed to careful bubbling when taking standardized tests. In addition, Remark Office OMR is well equipped to handle real world forms. Once the forms were processed, he was able to quickly generate the standard reports within Remark Quick Stats to present the data.

Favorite Feature

Mr. Roscoe mentions that he likes the automated reports, the speed, and accuracy of the tabulation. He also appreciates the overall flexibility in how Remark Office OMR can be used.

About WestEd

WestEd is a research, development, and service agency that works with education and other communities to promote excellence, achieve equity, and improve learning for children, youth, and adults.