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Using Survey’s in Class: Gathering Student Opinions

Students and teenagers in general have an opinion about anything and everything, whether can or want to express it. Survey’s are a great tool to allow student to demonstrate basic knowledge of topics, but also to help students make choices about their learning.  Teachers can use this to group students into differentiated projects for lesson or unit. This choice can help students learn in ways that are much more meaningful and valuable to them, increasing their interest in a class.

One of the easiest ways to create a survey is to use a website called SurveyMonkey.com. SurveyMonkey has been around for quiet sometime and many educators are using for a variety of different kinds of surveys. Administrators often use it as a means to gather information from their teachers and teachers use it as a tool to gather information from their students. The use of a survey is a tool that is only limited by the teacher/administrator creating it and the purpose of what they need to accomplish. Students can use surveys as research tools to gather information for projects in authentic ways that are similar to ways surveys are used in the real world.

Writing Survey Questions

Surveys are simply a set of questions with given either responses or open-ended options. If you are writing a survey that will have responses to choose from, choose responses that will give you the data you are hoping to find. When writing survey questions, you will need to have some idea of the type of data that you will be getting from the responders. This will help you to write questions that direct your information, which is especially useful when proving or disproving ideas or concepts about your students or classroom. These questions can be simple True/False questions that are used to direct a line of thinking in certain directions or Multiple Choice style questions that are used to collect general information. In most surveys questions should be written so that multiple questions gather the same information in differ portions of the test. This will help to build test validity, the test validity is important because it is a measure of how reliable the information gathered by the test is. Test validity can be performed in a variety of ways, but this is a topic we will discuss in later articles, in this article, we are simply concerned with test design.

Designing your surveys will change depending on your needs and how you choose to write your surveys, there is no one “right way”, but there are guidelines that can be followed for more accurate and deeper data. As a classroom teacher, most of the survey’s you will be conducting will not be highly in-depth, but they can provide a great deal of data about your students and classroom as a whole.

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