As an instructor, you may have questions about if your students are feeling engaged, understanding the material, feel like they belong to the classroom community, etc. A survey is a great way to check-in with your students about issues and topics such as these.
Types of Survey Questions:
Open ended – Asks a questions and leaves a text box for an individual to type a response. ex: How could this class be improved?
Response Scales – Asks an individual to select a response based on a scale. ex. On a scale from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree), do you feel as if you belong to the classroom community?
There is a tradeoff between different types of questions. Open-ended questions allow for more details and specifics to be collected, but scales provide good summary information (e.g. average sense of belonging).
Tips for a Survey:
- Make sure students know why the information is being collected and why it is important to complete the survey.
- Have a student or colleague review the survey prior to administration and get their thoughts (e.g. what is unclear?).
- Try and ask your questions as clear and straightforward as possible.
- Try to keep your survey short, as longer survey can lead to fewer or fatigued responses.
- Avoid asking sensitive questions and consider making your survey anonymous
- Have a plan for how to use the information collected.
Resources and Tools
https://qualtrics.msu.edu/ (Free to MSU Students, Faculty, etc.)
Sarah Mae Sincero (Jun 6, 2012). Survey Response Scales. Retrieved from Explorable.com: https://explorable.com/survey-response-scales
Fanning, E. (2005). Formatting a Paper-based Survey Questionnaire: Best Practices. Practical Assessment, Research & Evaluation, 10(12), http://pareonline.net/getvn.asp?v=10&n=12
SurveyMonkey.com. Surveys 101: Best practices for every step of survey creation. Retrieved from https://www.surveymonkey.com/mp/survey-guidelines/.
Harrison, C. (2007). Tip Sheet on Question Wording. Harvard University Program on Survey Research. https://psr.iq.harvard.edu/files/psr/files/PSRQuestionnaireTipSheet_0.pdf