Rachelle Poth, Spanish teacher at Riverview Junior Senior High School, understands the value of listening. Especially when it comes to her students—listening is key. And in turn, the opportunity for her students to take the time for some honest self-reflection on their own progress in class is just as invaluable. We’re excited to have Rachelle here on the blog to share how surveying her students regularly provides her with the honest feedback she needs to build, strengthen and improve her course curriculum.
Listening to my students and understanding where they’re coming from is incredibly important to me. Their direct input guides my teaching and helps focus on what they want in my Spanish instruction classes and on what they don’t want.
I started using SurveyMonkey because I needed an easy way to conduct a quick assessment of my students. And on their end, I wanted them to feel completely comfortable in sharing this type of personal feedback with me. Sending our surveys via web links was the perfect way to accomplish that.
Taking small steps
The student feedback surveys that I created started off small. They were short and very simple. I began by asking basic questions about their overall study habits and how they prepared for tests and midterm exams.
My next questions were written to encourage self-reflection. Where did they think their strengths were? Weaknesses? How did they feel before taking a test and then how did they feel after finishing the test? Getting their frank opinions allowed me to adapt the structure of my class to their individual needs as well as to their needs as a class. Surveying students was also a great way to collect their honest opinions on some of the outside educational resources we use such as Quizlet, Blendspace and Edmodo.
Getting creative with surveys
I would create short pop quizzes (who doesn’t love a good pop quiz?) about students’ recent reading assignments or I would have them answer brief survey questions related to the vocabulary or verbs were learning. It was very easy to create and then duplicate quizzes for all of the different levels of Spanish that I teach.
And SurveyMonkey was a go-to resource for outside my classroom too. At technology conference presentations, I sent surveys to my fellow attendees asking various topical questions and was able to share results instantly, proving just how quickly surveys can be designed, implemented and then shared.
Midterm exams! I’ll continue to rely on SurveyMonkey in my Spanish classes, particularly after midterms and then periodically in order to see how my students are feeling about their strengths and weaknesses in class. The data that I receive will also guide me in searching for additional outside resources for those kids who self-indicate needing more help.
Thanks so much for sharing your survey story with us, Rachelle and best of luck to those awesome multi-lingual students of yours. Good luck with midterms and finals!
To learn more about Riverview Junior/Senior High School, check out their website.
Have questions for Rachelle? Let her know in the Comments section below!
And don’t forget about our many other education-focused resources like our survey templates for students and faculty and learn more about our K-12 Parent Survey template created with the Harvard Graduate School of Education.