Student surveys are valuable sources of feedback for teachers and self-reflection for students. Surveys at the beginning, middle, or end of the school year can help you plan effective classes, reach struggling students, and improve your teaching methods.
Of course, not all student survey questions provide useful responses. Here’s a list of student survey questions that’ll help you gather actionable insights from your students:
Rank this year’s lessons from easiest to hardest.
Find out what type of subject material your class struggles with by asking students to rank the most important lessons, from easiest to hardest. The answers will help you understand the material that’s relatively more challenging, allowing you to effectively modify your approach in the future. For example, you can hold a review session following that lesson. Or dedicate more time to improving its curriculum.
You can ask this question using a drag and drop ranking question type. By using lessons as your answer choices, you’ll be able to quickly remind students what you covered in class. These interactive questions are also fun and can prevent straight-lining (when a bored respondent completes a survey quickly by choosing the same answer for every question). Just be careful not to add too many answer options! 10 or more answer options may be too taxing for your respondents.
How much time do you spend on homework every night?
Homework reinforces learning, but some studies find that too much homework can have a negative effect on wellbeing. More than half of students, for example, say that homework is their primary source of stress. And students who spend more than two hours on homework each day are at risk of stress-related health problems.
Which classroom activities do you learn from the most?
You probably already know which classroom activities your students really enjoy, but do you know which are the most valuable to their education?
Ask your students using a multiple choice question. You can follow up with a single textbox question, asking why they found that activity to be so useful.
What are three things that can improve the class most?
If you’ve written student survey questions before, you know that often the most helpful responses are also the most specific ones. So ask students to list specific things they like and dislike about your class using a comment box. Students can choose to address classroom dynamics, classroom management, the curriculum, or whatever they want in this open-ended question.
Rate your teacher. How could she/he do better?
Many teachers are afraid to ask students for personal feedback. While opening yourself up to negative feedback is scary, seeking constructive criticism and taking it in stride will allow you to reach your full potential in your job.
Before you ask students to offer ways you can improve as a teacher, ask them to rate you with a number or slider scale. While the rating alone isn’t particularly useful, it can help you gauge your progress as you improve.
What is one thing you’d change about the class if you could?
This question gets students thinking constructively, instead of just critically, about class. While you’ll definitely have to curate your students’ suggestions based on what is and what isn’t realistic, adopting one or more suggestions shows your students you’re listening to them.
What advice would you give to students in next year’s class?
The advice that your students give to peers reveals a lot about their biggest takeaway from your class. When they give advice, what do they focus on: The lesson plans, the tests, the teaching style? This question reveals not just what current students think of your class, but the expectations future students will have on their first day.
What are you proud of accomplishing in class this year?
What project, assignment, or test gave each of your student’s pride in their learning? In class, we don’t usually pause to celebrate individual student’s successes. It’s important then, for students to identify and articulate their own accomplishments. This is especially true given that pride in learning is closely linked to higher academic success.
What do you want to learn next?
If you ask this question at the beginning of the year, it helps you tailor your lesson plans to your students’ interests. If you ask this question at the end of the year, it encourages your students to think about their independent academic interests. You might also want to pass on your students’ answers to next year’s teacher to build continuity of learning between the two classes.
Student survey questions play an important role in improving the students’ learning experience. By asking the right questions, you’ll be able to identify what’s working and what isn’t in the classroom. This will help you focus on the right areas that improve your teaching methods most. Your students’ experience stands to benefit.