This is not the front page

Surveying Students to Check for Understanding

Survey example. Text in paragraph below
Photo Credit

Credit: © Penn State is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 

Do you ever notice that a large percentage of students are having a hard time grasping a concept or following procedures properly? It might be time to send out a quick survey to figure out what’s going on. Soliciting student feedback to gain an understanding of where students are coming from can help you hone your teaching to make the maximum impact.

One reoccurring issue that many instructors report is their students’ lack of proper use of citations in their work. A survey addressing this problem could contain the following questions:

  • Do you know when you need to cite other peoples’ work?
  • On a scale of 0 (no confidence) to 3 (full confidence), how confident are you in your ability to cite other peoples’ work properly?
  • When, in the course of your education, did you learn to give credit or cite properly?
  • What tools do you use for citing others’ work? (Penn State Libraries; Zotero, etc.)
  • Why do you think citing others’ work is important?

The information collected in this survey could result in tailored messaging about citations and adding additional instruction to the course. This could include inviting a writing specialist as a guest lecturer or adding instructional materials, self-checks, and quizzes to the course.