What Did My Students Think Of This Year? (2016-17 Edition)

Cursor_and_Untitled.jpgAs many regular readers probably remember, each year I ask my students to complete a survey about the entire school year.  It’s the pinnacle of a
year spent building a culture of feedback, and the students know that it provides me with critical information about my teaching.  It’s public so that I am held accountable for what they say, and it’s anonymous so that my students can feel free to be honest.  I knew that our focus on continuous feedback was making an impact when I asked a class why they thought that I use this survey.  The response from one student said it all:

“So that you can be a better teacher next year than you were this year.”

The raw results from this year’s survey (filtered slightly for appropriateness and student privacy) can be found here, and the posts from previous year’s survey data can be found here and here.  Here are my three biggest takeaways:

  1. Some things don’t change.  Compared to last year, my students in 2016-2017 provided very similar feedback in a lot of ways.  They had some very similar responses, such as giving me a good grade for class (98% A or B), and similar comments (one of my favorites is “Mr. C has a way of making you actually WANT to learn. It’s a miracle.”).
  2. My work to build a culture of feedback in my classroom has met some success.  Students are beginning to see their grades as a measure of their learning.  They report that they value grades as a form of feedback.  That’s promising.
  3. Face-to-face beats online.  Based on their responses, students saw the most value in the activities that involved personal contact, like lab activities and discussions.  That surprised me because I assumed that my “digital native” students would prefer  using screens to interact.  I was wrong.survey_activities.png

Have you brought student surveys into your practice?  Tell me about the results.