Best Practices for Surveys and Polls- This Week’s Faculty Challenge #3 (Continued)

Satisfied or notAre you using polls and/or surveys to collect data from your students to improve your courses? to encourage student participation? to determine what your next lecture or presentation should highlight? to ascertain what aspects of your course students are struggling with? As we mentioned in our previous post, we’re very interested in sharing how YOU use polls and surveys in your classes.

Horton, in eLearning by Design suggests some best practices for polls including:

  • Collect opinions at the right time. Collect responses from your students after an event, during an event or immediately before an event, like a quiz, a discussion, an assignment or a lecture.
  • Be sure that your learners know how to vote. Sometimes online surveys use text messaging, or a website with a passcode, or are simply ungraded quizzes in Blackboard. Whatever the tool, make sure that your student understand how to submit their vote. It may be obvious to you, but not quite so obvious to your students. And be sure that it is clear that they know what they are voting for. For example is (1) very satisfied or (5) very satisfied?
  • Phrase prompts and choices with extreme care. It can be extremely frustrating to end up with survey results that are so ambiguous that you don’t know how to act on the information you just received.

Horton further provides a few examples for using a poll at the beginning of the course to determine if the course is right for your students. For example, post your main learning objectives and have students select for each from the following choices:

  1. This is exactly what I want to learn
  2. This is something that I want to learn
  3. This is of NO interest to me

All this week we are collecting your survey strategies and questions. Tell us how you survey, when you survey, and give us an example of some of your best questions. Please send these to Kathi. You can view the current submissions at our Faculty Challenge Google Site.

Photo credit: iStock Photo jntvisual