From the first time we first learnt the alphabet at primary school to our most recent training sessions at work, education is a fundamental and lifelong learning experience for all of us. If we are to gain maximum benefit from these experiences, it’s vital that those providing the education ensure it is as effective and satisfying as possible.

Whether you are a head of faculty in a university, a teacher in a secondary school or an owner of a workplace training company, the ability to gather feedback from students, parents and employers is vital to highlighting how you are performing and enabling you to maintain and keep improving standards going forward.

What is an education survey?

An education survey allows you to gather feedback and opinions from both the learner and educator, and then use these findings to drive continual improvement across any number of educational areas.

Why run an education survey?

It is often easy to forget that like any other organisation educational establishments are essentially businesses whose future success relies on securing ongoing investment. And they need to demonstrate to funding bodies, investors and customers how well they are performing and improving, if they are going to have a long and prosperous future.

Whether you are university needing to attract more students, or a school trying to get more funding, or a training company look to grow the data you collect and evaluate through your survey questions enables you to understand what you need to change to drive continual improvement.

However, to achieve this you will need to keep delivering exceptional levels of learning and holistically deliver an exceptional experience. Accurate data is crucial to this, as it enables your organisation to understand where its weaknesses are across a range of different areas such as:

  • Course feedback
  • Teacher/trainer evaluation
  • Gathering feedback from teachers
  • Student satisfaction
  • Faculty satisfaction
  • Evaluation of learning/training programmes

By collecting data through these touchpoints, it’s much easier for educational organisations to identify areas for improvement, which will help them to attract more clients, win new business or secure additional funding by continually striving to deliver an exceptional learning experience.

98% believe that a good teacher can change the course of a student’s life. ING Foundation Survey

What are the different types of evaluation in education?

From parent-teacher and student-course evaluation to employee-training services evaluation, in the education setting there can be many different types of feedback scenarios going on at any one time, which are critical to the teaching-learning process. Evaluation helps educational providers build programmes, assess their performance and improve upon their effectiveness, with the education survey essential to this process.

With teaching methods becoming more and more digitalised, online surveys offer the most efficient way to do this in a variety of formats, from tests and polls to quizzes and games. All this can be easily created with the SmartSurvey platform, customised to your school and subject, and distributed via email, SMS or social media to your students for completion online. Additional benefits include a question scoring feature, which allows you to tally your scores and results. Digitisation also makes it easy to share the results with your class and maintain records of your students' improvement.

Start collecting more frequent feedback from your teaching staff, to keep them happy and motivated, and help maintain the success of your institution.

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Three ways to gain great value from online education surveys

  • Improve learning experiences across all educational levels

    Whether it’s pupils in a primary or secondary school, or students in a further or higher education institution, obtaining their feedback via a simple online survey can quickly reveal what you need to improve in areas such as teaching methods, materials and processes.

  • Boost staff morale

    Similarly, to that of pupils and students, those staff directly involved in providing the learning experience also need to be supported if they are to consistently produce the highest levels of teaching quality in the classroom. With the right survey questions those in charge including deans, head teachers and department heads can better understand factors that can affect morale amongst staff and take the necessary steps to ensure they are properly supported and able to provide the best educational experience for students.

  • Improving standards through increased stakeholder engagement

    Any educational establishment, whether it’s a school or a university will have a key role to play in its community and similarly the views of that community will be essential to ensuring the learning experiences provided by those institutions are as good as they possibly can be.

    Parents, are for example, as involved in a school's success as the teachers and students. So, if there are any fresh developments that need to be voted on such as new procedures, or changes in the wider education industry that could affect teaching, then school survey questions for parents offer a quick, effective way to engage these groups and gather their support.

Teachers in England overwhelmingly agree (98%) that parents have a positive impact on their school, yet less than a fifth (19%) say their school has any formal parental engagement plan in place.Parentkind

Different types of education surveys

From questionnaires on the quality of education to school survey questionnaires, here’s an overview of some of the most commonly used education surveys and how teachers, students and educational administrators can use them:

  • Teacher feedback

    Teachers are at the frontline in schools, so the survey questions for teachers that you develop will be critical in giving you an insight into how they are feeling and coping. Find out what they are really thinking, what they need in order to provide the best possible education experience and any extra support or resources you need to supply. Online surveys are a quick and effective way to gather this important information.

  • Teacher and administrator satisfaction

    Are your teachers and educational administrators happy at work? Better measure how they feel about their working environment, procedures, career development path and even their colleagues through an anonymous online survey.

  • Student feedback

    Ensure your school and the teaching you provide is as effective as possible by collecting feedback from the students themselves. For example, do students find staff supportive? Do they feel comfortable to contribute in class? How well do their classmates behave?

  • Student satisfaction

    How satisfied are your students? By creating a student satisfaction survey, you can collect feedback from students across all educational levels about the quality of your teaching, learning resources, wider facilities and even the food in your canteen.

  • School leavers and graduate feedback

    Each year a fresh batch of students will move on from your school or university, but what was their education experience like? Did it meet their expectations and fulfil promises? By conducting a school leavers or graduation survey, you can gain essential feedback that will help you continue to improve year on year.

  • Training and course evaluation surveys

    Whether the training or courses we attend are free or paid for, there’s a certain quality that attendees expect and instructors need to meet. Research and evaluate if your course has been a success, by collecting attendees’ feedback on your course materials, teaching aids, learning room environment and the performance of your instructor.

Transform how you interact with students, parents and teachers and further improve the educational experience you provide

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Education survey templates

If you need help to get you started with your educational survey, why not look at one of our ready-made online survey templates, which you can customise to suit your needs.

Four key benefits of running regular education surveys

Conducting more frequent surveys of your different educational audiences and then gathering and acting on their feedback will help you to improve educational outcomes for both educators and learners alike.

  1. Retain high-quality, qualified teaching staff

    By regularly surveying your staff to track their satisfaction levels and make sure they feel adequately supported, you’re able to identify what else you can do to help keep them happy and motivated in their jobs.

  2. Reduce course drop out rates

    By periodically conducting instructor and course surveys with your students at the end of each academic term, you’re better able to see what they think of your teaching staff and course material. This ensures you are aware of which areas you need to improve and help reduce student drop-out rates from your courses.

  1. Maintain your institution’s growth and success

    From attracting fresh funding to growing future student numbers, the ability to measure your students’ satisfaction levels will have a major role to play in your future success. Through a student satisfaction survey see what your students think about your teaching quality, student services and campus safety and make any necessary improvements you require.

  2. Increase parent involvement

    Student success is as much about the support they receive at home, as in the classroom. By sending a school questionnaire to parents, you’re better able to understand the level of involvement they have in their children’s education. This can then enable you to develop ideas that can help parents better support their children to achieve their academic goals.

83% of students say a teacher has boosted their self-esteem and confidence.Weareteachers.com

Three top tips for creating great education surveys

1

Set clear and achievable goals for your survey

There is potentially a lot of topics and different audiences you can reach out to in an education survey. However, rather than try to tackle too many subjects and garner the opinion of too many audiences such as students, parents and teachers in a single survey, try instead to focus on one audience group and overarching objective. By following this you should be able to achieve better quality responses and lower dropout rates from your education survey.

2

Keep any rating scale questions consistent

In contrast to simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questions, rating style questions such as the Likert scale, allow you to dig deeper and gather varying degrees of opinion among your respondents. However, it’s important to remain consistent. So, if you have selected a 5-response option rating ranging from Strongly Agree to Strongly Disagree, keep with this whenever you use a rating scale question to prevent any potential confusion among your respondents.

3

Test your survey first

Before you distribute your official survey, it’s prudent to test it first. Ask those receiving your test survey to provide as much feedback as possible, so you can troubleshoot any confusing questions and rectify any other issues before you distribute it for real.

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