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Surveys For Student Feedback - Ask And You Shall Receive

We teach in a world full of Common Core, and standardized tests, and OFSTED. There are plenty of systems in place, designed to help us understand what we should be teaching and if our students have learned those things.

But teaching is far more complex than the results of a standardized test, and there aren’t as many systems designed to help us understand how we are doing in all the other aspects of teaching: building trust, community, and a safe and fun environment for learning, to name a few.

Sure, your administrator may sit in on a few lessons and share their impressions with you, but the very best judges on your class are your students. So why not ask them?

Asking your students to evaluate you and your class may seem like a scary and dangerous proposition, but I would argue that the benefits far outweigh the risk.

Students appreciate being included in the conversation and decision making process. It helps them feel like they have agency in their class. And, in my experience, most of the students take their role seriously and give sincere feedback that is genuinely helpful. (Of course, you’ll have a few who give silly answers or just click through to finish - but there will always be outliers in any set of data, right?)

I ask my student to provide feedback once per quarter, and almost always make some sort of change or adjustment to my classes after. It helps hold me accountable to my personal growth and development as a teacher.

Plus, it serves as an opportunity to check in with your students and ask them to reflect upon their own efforts in the class as well.

Are you convinced?

If you are interested, I've provided copies of the surveys I use in my class.

The first is a more personal “get to know you” survey that I give students just once during the first or second week of school. It gives me a good idea of what circumstances they are coming from, and gives them an opportunity to privately share anything they want me to know.

(Click the image, then “make a copy.”)

The next survey is the quarterly survey, in which I ask students to evaluate me (the teacher), the class, themselves, and their effort. Like I said, I give this survey at the end of every quarter in the school year. We do it together in class, and it usually only takes the students about 5-10 mins to complete.

(Click the image, then “make a copy.”)

Once you have a copy of the survey in your Google Drive, it’s yours to edit and make copies of for all your classes.

Google Forms is a great method for distributing the survey, because it is easy to keep one draft as your “template,” then make copies of it for each of your classes, each quarter (i.e. “Quarter 1 - Period 1 Survey”). It can easily be posted to Google Classroom, shared via email, or given as a link that students can type into their own browsers.

The best thing about using Google Forms is that it is incredible easy to review the results of the survey, especially in the provided graph and chart format. I like to compare my charts for each quarter, side by side, at the end of the year.

The week after I give the survey I put together a short slide deck with some of the results from each class. I’ll screenshot some graphs or quotes (anonymously) from their class, and use them to hold a class discussion on what is working well, and what we can do better.

It’s a nice way to wrap up and reset each quarter.


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