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Surveying your students during the COVID-19 crisis response

Posted at 11:21 a.m. March 30, 2020, by in Communication, Communication, IDT Blog: Teaching & Tech Tips, Uncategorized

Surveying your students during the COVID-19 crisis response

The COVID-19 crisis response has resulted in upheaval, stress and uniquely complicated circumstances for both faculty and students alike. One simple measure you can implement in your course to address these factors is a brief student survey designed to better assess their current situations.

Benefits of such a survey may include:
• A more informed picture of your students’ current learning environment. The information students share with you will help inform your instructional decisions.
• A better understanding of what types of assessments may work best for the duration of the semester.
• Surveying your students lets them know you care about their circumstances. Simply checking in to see how they are doing goes a long way in maintaining the rapport you developed while teaching face-to-face.

What types of questions should you include on the survey?

• It is important to ask about your students’ access to internet and devices with which they can complete their remote assignments.
• You may consider asking what their availability to complete coursework looks like.

Best practices

• Consider making the survey optional and/or anonymous. Some students may not feel comfortable sharing information with you. To respect students’ wishes for privacy, do not require that they share their names.
• Give students the option to offer more detail about their personal circumstance, but do not require that they share personal details with you.
• Keep your survey brief and concise to encourage students to respond.
• Use Google Forms, Qualtrics or an ungraded quiz in Sakai or Canvas to conduct your survey.

Survey example

Here is an example of what a student survey might look like. Note that some questions are required and some are optional.

Feel free to adapt these questions or reuse this survey in your course.  Please reach out to if you have any questions about setting up a student survey of your own.


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