When the semester comes to an end, I like to take the temperature of my students’ experience in the course. How did they view the required texts? What could be added to the course? What was challenging? What areas could be improved? Surveys can be used as a tool to measure and obtain feedback on a wide range of topics related to the course.
There are several survey templates available with a variety of design ideas for different audiences and courses. Free online surveys like Survey Monkey, Typeform or Google Forms offer customization in thinking about response patterns to help maximize the value and utility of the feedback you receive. There is also an easy to use survey function in Blackboard to build a survey or import one from another location.
Here is my survey prompt within English 1102:
I use 10 multiple choice questions and incorporate a Likert scale to measure students’ responses via ratings: strongly agree, agree, neutral, disagree and strongly disagree. Getting students to respond meaningfully to surveys can be a challenge. Maximizing participation and achieving a representative sample of the class involves spending time thinking about the goal of your survey. If you are evaluating your course, you may want to focus on questions about organization and presentation of content, course objectives, degree of difficulty, group activities and online response time.
Keeping the survey short and focused is another key ingredient, especially in an online format. Too many questions, boxes to fill in or buttons to click can be overwhelming. The questions should be as concise and direct as possible. If I would like qualitative information I will add an open-ended question at the very end of the survey and invite students to voice their opinions in a few sentences.
I also offer to share results of the survey with students during the last week of class. I like to let students know that their feedback is important as I adopt new materials, consider policies or focus on initiatives in future classes. Their voices have value that leads to improvement and professional growth.