Beyond Safer Internet Day: 5 Great Ways To Use Student Feedback
Maintaining effective engagement and communication with your students and pupils has never been more important. This was no more evident than during the height of the Covid pandemic and lockdowns, when teaching could only continue via remote online sessions with students and pupils studying from home.
While separation from the classroom led to many students feeling anxious and isolated, it heightened awareness of how communication and engagement techniques could help improve their well-being and mental health. It also led to a re-acquaintance with wider initiatives providing support in this area such as Safer Internet Day.
What is Safer Internet Day?
From misinformation, fraud and identity theft to cyber bullying, grooming and much more. While we all recognise what a fantastic resource the internet offers for online research, as well for entertainment and connecting with friends and family, most of us are also aware of the risks that the internet poses to young people using it. Subsequently, Safer Internet Day, which takes place every February, was set up to help promote a safer and more responsible use of online technology by children and young people around the world.
This year’s event, which will take place on 7th February, will promote the different events and activities that are taking place to highlight its aims at a local, national and international level. And it also offers a whole host of resources on the Safer Internet Day website, which educators can use to better educate their pupils and students about online safety. Some of these resources also include online quizzes, offering a more fun and engaging way to assess levels of online safety awareness among your students, plus any gaps in their knowledge that you can help them with.
What’s important to point out here though, is that most of your students’ worries are unlikely to stop just at concerns around their online safety. Consequently, it can help to open up further dialogue with them by engaging them with feedback surveys where you can explore and help them with these issues.
Why student feedback is more than keeping them safe online
From stress about their exams and future careers to worries about what other people think of them, bullying and more. In today’s fast paced, high tech society, where children and young people are more exposed than ever before to pressures from school, their peers and issues they see going on in the wider world, it’s not surprising to hear what impact this is having on their mental health.
- Mental health: studies reveal that nearly 40% of 6 to 16 year olds have experienced a deterioration in mental health since 2017
- Stress about school and jobs: while 45% of students feel stressed by their course work load, more than half of 16-25 year olds fear for their future job prospects
- Peer pressure and bullying: in the last year alone 1 in every 4 young people have been victims of bullying
- Worries about the future: 60% of children think future worries about climate change and inequality are affecting their generation’s mental health
With young people seemingly experiencing more worries than previous generations, educators need to devise strategies, which can enable them to better support them with this.
Consequently, by incorporating questions about mental health and wellbeing, student surveys can provide an ideal opportunity to explore and track student sentiment around these issues. That way, educators can better tackle issues as they arise and do everything they can to improve the mental health and wellbeing of students, so they have the best chance of reaching their full potential.
5 great ways to use student feedback
Whether you’re reaching out to pupils in schools or students in a further education college or university, the great thing about education surveys, is that they allow you to engage and collect feedback about all aspects of that student’s learning and educational experience. So, in addition to asking them about their mental health and wellbeing, feedback from other questions you can ask in a survey will enable you to help students in a much wider range of ways.
Boost student engagement and motivation
While we’ve already touched on issues that can worry young people, which if left unchecked can harm their wellbeing and mental health, it’s important not to ignore their motivation and engagement levels, as this can impact how well they perform in their studies.
From how excited they feel about going to their classes, to how eager they are to participate and share their ideas. There are lots of potential areas you can explore in your survey questions to help assess your students’ motivation levels, and provide you with the insight you need to improve their levels of engagement and what they’re ultimately able to achieve.
Improve learning experiences
From the quality of your courses, your educational tools and how well your teachers perform to how interactive and collaborative you can make your classes. The learning experience is also crucial and has a major bearing on a student’s motivation and ability to perform to the best of their abilities. So, it’s crucial to make it as good as you can.
Again, through the survey questions you ask, you can identify what you’re doing well and what aspects of the learning process you need to improve, so you can deliver better student outcomes.
Enhance the student experience
Student life is almost as important as the academic studies themselves, and also contributes to how well a student goes on to perform in their chosen area of study.
From a college’s facilities, support networks and its culture to the social, sporting and artistic opportunities it provides. There’s lots of parts that contribute to the overall student experience, which you can explore in your survey questions, and help ensure you’re providing the best possible experience for your students.
Make wider improvements to your school, college or university
While running regular surveys is great for identifying and resolving issues as they come up, it’s also valuable to get pupils and students’ feedback when they come to the end of their studies.
Through the use of school leaver or graduate exit surveys, you can get a great deal of information about how well you were able to meet your students’ expectations. These types of surveys also provide good opportunities for students to feedback about what they believe you could have done better. Such insights can be very useful in enabling you to make wider improvements that will which make the learning experience even better future pupils or students.
Attract more students and keep growing
It’s not just students themselves that benefit from their feedback, but the colleges and universities where they study too. These institutions rely on attracting more students to get more funding, with international students particularly beneficial to the amount of money they can bring in.
So, the feedback you receive from your students and the further improvements you’re able to make as a result, will not only help in your marketing efforts to attract new students and grow your institution, but benefit existing students too. It’s a win-win situation for both students and educators alike.
In today’s educational environment, doing everything you can to keep your students safe, while maximising their engagement and motivation levels is crucial.
With so many uncertainties and distractions, it can be easy for students to lose focus and lose their way. So, anything you can add to your armoury of communication channels to improve this is critical.
Fortunately, the feedback from a survey can help you with this. Not only can it tell you what you’re doing well or need to improve, it can provide a critical ongoing dialogue with students, so you can quickly manage any developing issues as they arise and ensure they develop to their maximum potential. So, if you’re not already doing so, there’s never been a better time to get started with a survey.
Maximise your support for students
Ongoing feedback is critical, as without it you won’t be able to make the improvements you need to help your students reach their full potential. However, you can only do that with the right communication and engagement tools and that starts with the right survey platform.