My school started student opinion surveys a few years ago and I must say the feedback has been incredibly helpful. The surveys help you adjust your instruction to meet the needs and desires of your students. My school only conducts them at the end of each semester but I have taken it upon myself to conduct my own survey using a Google Form. Currently I conduct the survey on a quarterly basis. In the future I would like to incorporate more student opinion in the direction of my courses. Here are some recommendations for conducting your own student surveys:
-Do not use questions with a 1-10 scale. I always hated filling those out and I think the results are questionable.
-Multiple choice questions should have an ALWAYS – SOMETIMES – NEVER type option.
-Most of the questions should be open ended. This is where you will get the best results.
-The survey should be anonymous.
-Review the results with your students to show them that you really did read them.
-Announce your action plan to the whole class to address the concerns that came up with more frequency.
This is my real-life example. More than a few students said that my tests were too difficult and that they did not feel well prepared for them. I teach freshmen in high school so I immediately assumed that it was their fault for not knowing how to study. I blamed their middle schools for playing games and using coloring pages to teach. Then I decided to look at myself. I realized that I did very little preparation for the tests. I didn’t provide a study sheet or really anything. I decided to adjust. I didn’t make my test easier I simply worked on better preparing my students for the assessment. I also made it a goal to create a study forum on my course website where students would be able to post questions and I could answer them for all to see. This virtually eliminated the lack of preparation critique.
I highly recommend that you conduct student surveys. The information that you gather is priceless.