Reading the Remote Room: Surveying your students

It is always a good idea to collect feedback from your students about your teaching, but this importance is magnified while teaching remotely.

  • if you’re teaching primarily synchronously (e.g., on Zoom) you might be getting a sense that things are going well, without realizing that some students are struggling with the content and/or their internet connections
  • if you’re teaching primarily asynchronously and don’t have regular assessment and engagement methods in place, you might be finding it difficult to get much of a read at all

Now that we’re a month into the term, it would be a great time to anonymously survey your students for feedback. Canvas has a built-in survey tools, but it isn’t truly anonymous. Due to this, I would suggest surveying your students using another USask tool: SurveyMonkey.

Creating and Sending the Survey

You can access the USask login for SurveyMonkey at https://surveymonkey.usask.ca/. Once you create the survey, you can distribute it to your students as a Web Link. Depending on the LMS you are teaching in, you can send it via email or the Canvas Inbox tool. You could also include the Web Link URL in your course. When students respond, their responses will be anonymous. For assistance with the specific survey building steps in SurveyMonkey, view this video.

What to ask?

If you’re not sure what questions to ask, a great place to start would be with a Stop-Start-Continue. This set of questions can provide a breadth of feedback on not only things that students are having issues with, but also on the things that are working well. You simply ask the students:

  • What is something you would like me/us to STOP doing regarding the teaching and design of this course?
  • What is something you would like me/us to START doing regarding the teaching and design of this course?
  • What is something you would like me/us to CONTINUE doing regarding the teaching and design of this course?

You may want to ask for feedback around how much time the students are putting into the course each week, what technical issues they are having, and/or anything else you are wondering about regarding the course.

After you collect the feedback, make sure to let students know that you reviewed it and highlight some changes you have made.

Please contact the team at the GMCTL for further support.

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