Introduction

Every student has different learning needs, and because these needs can greatly impact the way educators teach their students, obtaining student feedback via surveys is one of the best ways to learn how to improve your teaching strategies to benefit all students. With feedback surveys, students will have the opportunity to let their voices be heard, and educators will be able to better understand how their teaching behaviors are working in their classroom. Maybe your class would be better off with more class discussions or more hands-on projects or less lecturing, but you won’t know until you ask!

Resources

Teacher evaluations and feedback surveys are becoming more popular in schools worldwide, as educators are eager to learn how their teaching skills are working for their students. Therefore, there are many online resources available which teach educators how to form their own student feedback surveys, provide example surveys for the classroom, or discuss the importance of receiving student feedback.

Lesson Plans

  1. Lesson Plan: Understanding the Student Voice Survey: This lesson plan includes one sixty minute lesson and another thirty minute lesson about the importance of student voice surveys. Providing an essential question, standards, resources, objectives, and direction, this plan utilizes group work (with roles), class discussions, and individual tasks in order to start a conversation about how to improve their classroom and give students insight on why it is necessary for them to supply their teachers with feedback. This lesson is very interactive and requires full class participation for the best results!
  2. DESE Model Feedback Instruments & Administration Protocols: DESE has developed student feedback surveys (available for various grade levels) for educators to use. Surveys are available in standard form, short form, or mini-forms, depending on the length you would prefer, taking timing into consideration. A separate page of prompts and protocols is given for educators who teach students in K-2. In addition, answers to FAQs are located at the bottom of the page for any educators who are a bit confused on anything from whether these surveys are accurate to how they were developed.

Articles

  1. Improving Teaching With Expert Feedback—From Students: edutopia published an article to help educators improve their teaching with expert feedback from students. This article recommends building a small group of advocates, getting school wide teacher buy-in, creating your school wide survey, helping students feel comfortable responding to the survey, reviewing the survey results with your teachers, and taking action on your survey feedback. The best way to become a better educator is to find out your strengths and weaknesses from your students, and this piece will give you the tips and resources to do that! The site even provides an outline for a student feedback survey here.
  2. What Should I Include on My Student Classroom Surveys?: We Are Teachers has an article which supplies many of the answers to the questions educators may be asking about student feedback surveys. The author explains the concept of student classroom surveys, the way in which they should be conducted, the types of questions that should be included, and more. The information in this article will be very important when you are deciding whether or not you should begin using student feedback surveys in your classroom!
  3. Student Surveys – Why They Matter and 5 Key Design Principles of Great Surveys: This article explains the importance of student feedback surveys, specifically the important topics that should be considered when one is measuring teaching effectiveness. Topics including pedagogical effectiveness, rigorous expectations, classroom climate, student engagement, and teacher-student relationships are discussed, and example questions are provided under each category to help you start forming your own survey for the classroom.

Informational Sites

  1. Student Surveys – How to Use Class Feedback to Improve Teaching Techniques: SurveyMonkey has written a short page on four ways that you can use student surveys and how to turn that data into better teaching. This site explains that educators can use student surveys to understand who your pupils are and what they need, get feedback about workload, pace, and structure of your class, ask about your school’s learning environment, and assess yourself or other teachers.
  2. How to Design the Ultimate Teacher Feedback Survey: This article discusses how to design a great teacher feedback survey, talking about the ideal survey length, question types, bias control, analysis, and making changes. Its focus is on how survey design is the key to obtaining accurate data from students surveys, and many examples of questions that should be asked in the survey versus those that should not be asked are included. Reminding educators that the survey is not about analyzing student criticism on their ability to teach and knowledge on a subject but on receiving insight to the ways in which their teaching strategies are working or not working for certain students, this brief piece is a good one to read when discussing the prospect of adding feedback surveys to your curriculum.
  3. Feedback for Teachers Survey Questions: Here, YouthTruth offers two different example student feedback surveys, one for secondary school students and another for elementary school, and additional topics that can be used to form questions for both age groups. Topics on these surveys include student engagement, academic rigor and expectations, relevance, instructional methods, personal relationships, classroom culture, demographics, learning styles, project-based learning, and more. Though these questions were formed with a schoolwide survey in mind, they can easily be tailored towards a single educator’s classroom.

Conclusion

In order to make sure that all students are receiving the same level of learning, educators should utilize feedback surveys at least a few times during the school year to get an understanding of how their class is feeling about the way the classroom is run. Sometimes, students who have different learning needs are either afraid to ask for help or are unaware that they could benefit from a different learning style. Making sure that everyone feels safe and supported in the classroom is of the utmost importance for an educator, and giving students these surveys will help you do just that!

Additional Resources

  1. Sample Questions for Getting Feedback from Students: GW University Teaching & Learning Center offers sample questions for getting feedback from students during different times of the year, such as at the beginning of the semester, during the semester, feedback on a specific activity, and when the class doesn’t do particularly well on a certain assignment. Having a few baseline survey questions for students ready to go would be a good idea for instances where you want immediate feedback on how students are feeling about a lesson or course but don’t have a more specific survey planned.
  2. Making Student Feedback Work: This research story gives educators “new advice on building a culture of feedback and making it meaningful” for them. The author discusses getting started on making student feedback work, a new study regarding getting teachers on board, and strategies for school leaders on creating a culture of feedback.
  3. 3 Surveys for Student Feedback to Improve Instruction: This article talks about the research that supports the use of student feedback, the “Seven Cs” for feedback, and what kinds of surveys teachers should use. ThoughtCo. recommends Likert Scale Surveys, Open-Ended Surveys, and Letters to Incoming Students or to the Teacher. 
  4. Gathering student feedback: The University of Washington offers a short piece about gathering student feedback “about their experience as learners in your classroom” in order for you to assess your teaching skills. Recommended are a few different ways to collect feedback from your students, formative assessments, and summative assessments.