Surveys are an excellent way to collect information about any number of things. In education, they can be used with students to learn more about their behavior, learning styles or preferences, and opinions. They can also be used in class to engage students throughout a lecture and get immediate feedback on comprehension. Surveys can obviously be printed and handed out, but much like my last post on flashcards, there is now a much easier way to go about doing surveys. It is called SurveyMonkey.
SurveyMonkey is a site that allows you to make surveys online. There is a free account option where you can put up to 10 questions on a survey for up to 100 people, but there are upgrades available, too. Like with most sites, I would recommend trying out the free version for a while before you decide to invest in a paid plan. It was so easy to sign up for an account; I opted to connect it to my Gmail account, and I was in with one click! You do not have to connect your accounts, though; you could choose to complete the short signup form and choose a unique username and password just for this site.
At first, it might be hard to see why online surveys are better than paper-based ones, but there are so many advantages besides saving trees. Data collection is a breeze. SurveyMonkey tracks all the responses you receive and sorts them so you can see both individual responses and all responses for each question. You can share your survey in different ways, too, for example by e-mail, Facebook, or web link, so you can choose the method that appeals most to your audience and best serves your purpose.
When you share a survey via e-mail, the e-mail is displayed when you view the individual responses, so they are not anonymous, which is helpful if you want to learn more about individual student preferences. When you share a survey via web link, the responses are anonymous, which might be best to check student comprehension in class or receive feedback on your teaching. Additionally, SurveyMonkey has expert survey templates and 20 of them are for education (11 for free, 9 additional templates with the Pro account only), so you might just choose one to use as is or adapt.
Surveys are easy to create on SurveyMonkey because of the templates provided and the wide variety of options available for making and dispensing surveys. You can use them to help students, to get parents involved, or even to vote on an issue at your school.
How are you going to use SurveyMonkey, or how have you already?