So, it’s May. Many students are counting down the days until the end of the school year—maybe you are too (by the way: 12). Teachers are drawing units to a close, students are gearing up for final exams, coaches and advisors are hosting awards banquets and end-of-year celebrations... Yet, at this time of year when so much is focused on resolution, we also must look ahead and plan for the future. One way to do this is to collect feedback from today’s students to help you plan for tomorrow’s learners.
There are a wide array of reasons why teachers find it helpful to have students take a survey at the end of the year/semester. Jennifer Gonzalaz outlines five commonly cited reasons on her Cult of Pedagogy blog in the post “5 Reasons You Should Seek Your OWN Student Feedback.” Gonzalaz notes that these surveys can help teachers with future:
Personally, I have also found that such surveys have helped me with:
Choose your questions with care. When creating your survey, consider asking questions about the classroom environment, the course content, the ease or difficulty of course material and assessments, the approachability of the instructor(s), or even how the students themselves contributed to their own successes.
If you are looking for inspiration as to where to start, check out Rachel Lynette’s “20 End of Year Reflection Questions,” Noelle Pickering’s “Student Surveys: An End-of-the-Year Reflection,” ThoughCo’s “End of the Year Surveys: Quick Teaching Tip, or my personal examples (shown below).
Keep the outcome in mind. Knowing what kind of information you want to obtain will help you draft a better survey:
Structure matters. Surveys can take many different forms, with much depending on your desired outcome, time constraints, available technology, and so forth. Some common formats to consider are:
SOME COMPLETED STUDENT EXAMPLES FROM PAST YEARS
SOME STUDENT EXAMPLES FROM PAST YEARS
The how and when you collect your responses matters. Simply handing out a survey will provide you with responses, but they may not be the best ones. To ensure that data you gather is helpful, consider the following:
As educators, we have access to all kinds of data, but data alone does not create change. It's what we do with that data that is so critical. Therefore, the key is to sift through the data collected, really look at it deeply, and then decide how it might inform or even shift our practice moving forward.
Okay, so there are 12 schools days left. Now, how are you going to use them?
This post brought to you by Heather Lyke, Secondary Implementation Associate
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