There are many groups in the educational system that contribute to the success of that environment.
From students to teachers and parents to administrators, there are many components that need to work together to create a supportive, efficient learning environment. Should one group within the school system become dissatisfied or ambivalent, it can create a domino effect that disrupts the entire educational community. So, how do you know if your school system is running smoothly? Send out an educational feedback survey to the different groups in your school system and see how well things are going on your campus.
Like any organization, an educational institution—or a system of institutions such as a school district—consists of various stakeholder groups, each of which plays a vital role in the primary mission which is learning. Education surveys are deployed to capture feedback from stakeholders about specific topics and issues that contribute to the effectiveness and continual improvement of the learning environment.
An education survey can focus on any aspect of the learning process, examining it from the perspective of one or more audiences or stakeholder groups, e.g., instructional quality, student preparation, course offerings, physical facilities, administrative support, etc. Understanding your institution from the perspective of each audience—students, faculty, administrators, staff, parents, relevant community segments—reveals how well things are working and helps you pinpoint actions that will improve outcomes.
Regular education surveys generate insights that help you improve learning experiences. That’s a win on its own that has ripple effects—reducing course dropout rates, increasing graduation rates, and boosting overall student success.
Survey insights help improve the learning environment for teachers. Data-driven policies and actions can ensure staff members feel supported and valued, setting them up for success and leading to high morale which in turn enables you to attract and retain high-quality people.
Surveys are a powerful tool for cultivating stakeholder engagement. They not only generate insights that guide strategic and operational decisions but also create opportunities for stakeholders to be heard and know their voices count. That’s an important dynamic for students, teachers and staff, and for parents and the broader community. Increased parent involvement supports both the learning and teaching parts of the education equation. And any educational institution benefits when it effectively engages the surrounding community in appropriate ways.
At SurveyMonkey, we have many ways for you to start a conversation with your campus community to help you gauge sentiment and effectiveness. Customize a survey of your own or use one of our methodologist-certified educational survey templates to get you started. Here are a few ideas on what to ask:
Determine the overall mood of your university’s professors and instructors with a university faculty satisfaction survey. Ask questions like, “How effective is the leadership of your department chair?” and, “How fair is your pay at this university?” to get your faculty’s opinions on leadership, work/life balance, and available resources.
Are students acting appropriately and being safe when they use email, Facebook, MySpace, and the internet in general? We’ve developed several specific questionnaires for students to determine how, where, and when they use social media. You’ll get answers to questions such as, “How much do your parents know about what you do on the Internet?” and, “When you’re on social networking websites (like Facebook or Twitter), about how much of your time do you spend posting things about other people?” For best results, make sure to let the students know these surveys are completely anonymous and secure.
What do parents think about the schools, teachers, community, and even their own ability to contribute effectively to their children’s education? Provide one of our targeted school survey templates focused on the parents, and ask such questions as, “How confident are you in your ability to support your child’s learning at home?” and, “How much does a busy schedule prevent you from becoming involved with your child’s current school?”
Sometimes you just need to know how students, teachers, and parents are generally feeling about the school and community. Give them the opportunity to sound off about subjects like, “Our school shows respect for people from all backgrounds and cultures,” “Students think the school rules are fair,” and, “Teasing and picking on other students is pretty common here.”
Whatever the topic and audience you are targeting, adhering to a few best practices will help ensure your education survey captures the information you need.
Begin with a specific, clearly articulated goal and use it to focus your survey on a single topic. It can be tempting to add tangentially related or unrelated questions—As long as we’ve got their attention, let’s ask them about this, too—but resist that temptation. Even well-designed surveys quickly become tedious if they are too long or contain too many different topics. You want every respondent who starts the survey to complete it and, ideally, to have a painless experience so they’ll be inclined to participate in the future.
You also get better quality responses if participants aren’t required to shift focus too drastically or too many times.
Develop each questionnaire with a specific target audience in mind, e.g., students, teachers or other staff, parents. Use clear, direct language and design questions that are respectful and inclusive. For instance, avoid building in assumptions about gender identity or family makeup. Around potentially sensitive topics, give respondents the choice to answer or not—don’t box them in.
When surveying students, be sure your questions and the way you pose them are age appropriate. Include concrete examples that help respondents understand what you are getting at.
Before launching your survey, test it by having a few people in the target audience complete it. Examine the resulting data to be sure the survey captured the intended information, and your analysis plan will work as expected. Ask those participants to point out anything they found ambiguous or unclear.
You can use surveys to address a wide range of questions and issues: feedback about courses, general and/or specific satisfaction among students and teachers, teacher/trainer evaluation, program evaluation, parent engagement, etc. Whatever your focus, you don’t need to start from scratch. Using a template saves time and enables you to make intentional choices about standardizing your data for benchmarking while customizing questions for your institution and situation.
Discover the makeup of your school community with 16 basic demographic questions about gender, income, race, relationship to student, and more.
Ask parents five short questions about how they support their children’s educational environment at home.
K-12 teachers are asked 10 questions in this teacher satisfaction questionnaire. Subjects like school safety, resources, administrative support, standardized tests, and student achievement are all explored in this template.
Understand how parents interact with teachers and other parents about school involvement, fundraising, social needs, and volunteering with this 10-question template.
How empowered do parents feel to support their child’s learning at home and involvement at school? Help gauge their confidence level with this 7-question survey.
Use this faculty satisfaction survey template to ask university faculty about the leadership, interactions, administration, and general job satisfaction at their university. It’s a quick, 10-question survey.
The students have the opportunity to grade the university professors and instructors with this 28-question survey. Questions asked center around course materials, teaching methods, instructor availability, assignment usefulness, and overall satisfaction.
Hear from students about their experience at the university with this 10-question student graduation template. You’ll get insight about expected graduation dates, as well as overall impressions on the teaching quality, facilities, and future goals.
This 10-question general feedback survey lets college students express their satisfaction with teaching effectiveness, facilities, registration process, campus safety, and more.
The university TAs are evaluated in this 15-question survey. Students are asked to rate student assistants on subject knowledge, material presentation, teaching ability, availability, and overall effectiveness.
Below are some sample survey questions for higher education as well as primary and secondary institutions. This selection is not exhaustive but provides guidance about how to frame questions for various audiences.
Questions for middle and high school students might focus on topics such as bullying, athletics, and academic experiences.
Surveys of university students often address the academic experience as well as administrative services and physical facilities.
Surveying parents can be a means of measuring their engagement as well as fostering engagement by understanding how they experience the educational institution and their perspectives on their children’s experiences.
Like employees in any other type of organization, faculty members want to be heard. And their perspectives provide valuable insights about the institution that cannot be accessed any other way.