Just Ask: Web Surveys For Improving Courses and Boosting Enrollments
Web surveys are a modern-day miracle that has been brought to us by digital technologies. Obviously, online questionnaires/surveys gained incredible popularity among teachers because of their multi-functionality. In fact, online surveying is handy for:
- Evaluation of students’ satisfaction
- Receiving timely feedback from students
- Conducting market research to boost course sales
With the continuous rise of the popularity of eLearning, online instructors (just like any other educators) recognized the huge importance of web surveys. Today, teachers use web surveys not only to quiz students but also for collecting students’ opinions about the course. Indeed, web surveying is a great tool for collecting feedback from students on a regular basis on anything related to a course or the number of courses you teach.
Read this blog post and learn more about web surveys and why they are effective for collecting feedback from learners and for course improvements. And, in fact, an improved course always gets more enrollments!
How to Structure a Survey for Getting Clear Feedback From Students
All information provided in surveys helps to bring the right corrections and improvements to the learning process or web courses. In the other words, any effective improvements are credible only with current data and real-world insights. Today, it became possible to obtain information fast and efficiently with the aid of web surveys!
Indeed, web surveys provide great help to course instructors in the following:
- Help to develop a much precise course description. All info that instructors derive from surveys can help to improve course descriptions, make them more accurate.
- Help to define exact procedures. Surveys enable evaluation of the teacher’s performance and interpret it in a definite and exact way.
- Help to make a summary of the results in the most meaningful and convenient format. Statistics derived from surveys help the course instructor to make his/her content more precise and then deliver it to students in an understandable and interpretable way.
- Help the teacher to predict the future students’ performance. Statistical data taken from surveys enables the teacher to determine students’ scores after they go through the final examination.
- Help to analyze causal aspects which can point out to more complex situations. Instructors can find the reason why a particular student performs poorly with the appropriate surveying methods.
However, it became obvious that traditional static online surveys don’t work as effectively as they used to. They can be even ineffective in many situations. But, for example, an interactive quiz or poll is a much better tool for getting the most up-to-date information for your ongoing research.
Take a quick pick at this outline which should point out what to focus on while structuring a survey:
- Designate a clear and achievable goal for your web survey (use clear expressions that would be understandable by every level of students).
- Keep survey questions in the logical order (make sure these questions are adjunct or connected).
- List personal questions at the end of your web survey.
- Stay away from the temptation to make your survey too lengthy. Include only those questions that are necessary and relevant to your survey goal. Don’t make lengthy sentences and don’t expand them on purpose just to make them look “more serious”.
- Don’t omit survey incentives and include them as well.
- Try to avoid leading questions as much as possible (avoid writing questions that lead students to particular answers in their survey responses).
- Make sure that your questions play along with the entire design of the survey just to make a clear impression. Correlate your questions with your design – simple, easily readable fonts, no crazy colors or distracting illustrations that would be unnecessary.
- Remember that absolutes can corrode the quality of responses from students.
- Stay away from double-barreled questions to avoid confusion.
- Always preview a survey before sending it out to your students. Check if there aren’t any grammar mistakes and then test it.
- Test it before launch it!
So, you’ve got your survey results. Now what? Evaluate the quality of information that you received, analyze survey responses for any irregularities, make accurate assessments regarding the survey results.
Here are a few good questions for you to think about:
- Have I gotten responses from everyone whom I asked to complete my survey?
- Were there any skipped questions? If yes, so how many?
- Did students really try to provide honest answers? Or were they just picking easy but inaccurate answers? How is this going to taint my survey results?
After you’ve made your assessments, then slice and dice the data you received to develop clear insights!
What are some good examples of survey questions for students?
Main types of survey questions that are used for collecting feedback from either students or other instructors:
- Questions regarding course material
- General questions about the course
- Informational questions
- Questions regarding learning outcomes
Here are a few good examples of questions that you can ask students in the web survey:
Ask about a course in general: Why did you choose this course (list top reasons)? What you enjoyed the most about this course? Do you think that you were missing out on something during the course? What do you think should’ve been included? Could you list one specific thing that you would’ve changed in this course? Was there anything in particular that made you stick to the end? Are you going to recommend this course to someone else?
Ask about the course’s content to figure out what to focus on: What do you think about the quality of images, videos, any other media included in the course (please rate them)? Was it difficult to understand the course content and concepts? Which topics would you want to see provided more in-depth? Were there any topics that made you use Google search while taking the course? Why? Was the course well-structured in your opinion? Was it easy to follow or confusing to you? Did you like course quizzes in terms of variety and topics covered? Were there any questions that you skipped? Please explain, why.
Ask about learning outcomes for measuring the overall course’s success: Was anything that you’ve learned useful to you? If no, why not? Do you feel confident in applying any skills that you’ve learned in the course? What was the most useful thing that you’ve learned in this course? Did anything in the course make you change your mind about certain topics?
Ask to rate the course’s level of interactiveness: Did you connect with other learners for exchanging your own resources/ideas? How do you rate your experience with the mobile version of the course? Was there anything that made you feel frustrated or confused? What was it?
What Online Survey Tools Teachers Can Use?
Currently, there are a huge variety of survey building apps available on the web. These apps can create web surveys fast and easily. Also, these apps come either free or for a certain fee. It will be up to you what tools you’ll use for building surveys.
Here is a list of some useful resources that are available online today:
Google Forms. It is free and ideal for those who aren’t searching for complicated or advanced tools. Key features are:
- An unlimited number of surveys
- Adding any multimedia (besides textual content)
- Responses get captured by Google Spreadsheets automatically
- Allow adding a custom logo
- Add collaborators
SurveyMonkey. This is a sample survey data collection tool that works well for carrying through the research in-depth. It works fine for surveying students. Key features:
- Theme customization
- 15 question types
- Templates are available
You can get a monthly subscription, which is a good thing because you’ll have the whole month to try it out and see if it works for you.
SoGoSurvey. This platform is not free but it is awesome for both, creating and testing surveys. It also helps to shape queries so will attract your target audience and prospective students. Some of the exclusive features are:
- Intuitive interface
- Multi-lingual availability
- Page branching
- Unique types of questions (over 24)
- Comprehensive analytics
Fynzo Survey. Allows building flagship surveys, feedback, and point of sale applications. Businesses use this resource if they need to evaluate their products and services better. Key features:
- Offline data collection
- Multi-lingual support
- Advanced features for handling logic including validation, branching, and looping
- 100% secure data with real-time notifications
- Track and analyze real-time responses anytime, anywhere
- CSV & XL data
After all, go for a platform that offers you simple and efficient features to gauge the accuracy of your research conclusions and gain multidimensional perspectives.
There is no secret that today’s academic research became rather too theoretical. Quite often, it can’t catch up with the fast-changing virtual environment and becomes outdated. As a result, this leads to artificial situations that do not always represent real-life matters. And here come surveys into play with their magic power to collect the most current data!
Since online teachers and instructors are closely tied up today to online work, they can collect and constantly update any data regarding their courses with the aid of surveys. Surveys help to reveal and eliminate any errors, anything that deals with improperly working digital tools/systems, valid data delivery, etc. So, if you’ve never tried to use surveys for accumulating feedback about your course, spend some time developing your perfect survey, send it out to students, and start nourishing your courses with some great improvements after they’ll get back to you!