Using Surveys in the Classroom

We talk a lot about automatically graded exercises on this blog: students complete an exercise on their tablet or PC, fill in their name, and submit it to you for review.

Sometimes, however, you don’t really care who is sending in what. All you need is to ask a few questions, and get an overview of what your students answered. No need for names, email addresses, …, just hit ‘Send’ and be done with it.

What you need is a survey. In this post, I’ll walk you through some of the things you can do with on-line surveys, by using the Form/Survey widget.

Getting Student Feedback

Every teacher wants to know what their students think about their class and their teaching. Well, maybe not every teacher, but at least some of you that want to improve and tailor your lessons based on feedback.

Doing a short survey after a class can be a great way to find out how your students feel about what they just learned, or how it was presented to them. You can create such a survey by combining different question types. For example:

Student Feedback

Click to open

After sending your students a link to a survey you created, they can fill it in on their device, and hit the ‘submit’ button. As you’ll see when submitting the above survey yourself, surveys are anonymous. This means your students don’t have to be scared to tell the truth (so brace yourself!).

Every answer sent in by the student is sent to your email address (unless you don’t want this, of course), so you can collect your answers and get notified when new ones come in. We also collect all answers on the BookWidgets website, where you can get a high-level overview of all submitted answers, and drill into the details:

Student Feedback Overview

Well, at least they liked you.

Now that you’ve seen the first survey, let’s have a look at some other possible uses of surveys.

Preparing students for a class

Surveys can be a great way to introduce a subject in your classroom. You ask questions to trigger their curiosity, or simply poll for opinions on the subject.

Europe Survey

Click to open

Another interesting thing to do is sending your students a survey a few days before your class (or at the end of the previous class), asking them questions that can help you guide where to focus your next lesson on.

Testing subject knowledge

The standard way of testing how well your students master the subject is to let them complete a quiz. However, if you prefer to not track your students individually, and you don’t need to send any personalized feedback, you can use short surveys to test for classroom knowledge:

Geometry Survey

Click to open

By looking at the aggregated results, you can draw conclusions on which parts of the subject have been well-understood, and which ones need repeating:

Geometry Survey Results

Geometry Survey Results

In this case, the names of the polygons seem to be well known, but it might be useful to revisit the properties of triangles in the next class.

Getting feedback from parents

Involving the parents of your students in your class can also change the way you teach your class. By sending them an interactive survey, you can query parents' opinions and thoughts on subjects like the course material, learning environment, … And at the same time, you give them a taste on how you use technology in your classroom.

Collecting feedback from colleagues

You can tailor your lessons based on feedback from students and their parents. Of course, if you have many peers, they can help in guiding how you structure your lessons too. By asking them questions about their courses, or teaching to a specific class, you can get insights into

Creating your own Survey widgets

Want to create your own on-line surveys? Just hit the button below, sign up, and start creating Survey widgets (and many other widget types) with a free BookWidgets trial.

Remko Tronçon

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