Student Surveys and the Reflection Process

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Yesterday was the last day of the school year for my students.  The end of the school year tends to be filled with excitement and pride as students transition from one grade to another. During this time of the year I usually give my students a feedback survey. I tell the classes that I’ll be using the information to change next year’s classes for the better.  I’ve been using this method for the past few years and find it valuable in preparing for the fall.  Most of the questions that I ask tend to stay the same while I add a few others depending on what I’m focusing in on for the year.  This year I asked a few questions related to feedback and student refections.  These particular questions stem from some of the district’s initiatives, as we’re emphasizing Hattie and Dweck’s research.  Next year we will be focusing on them even more and I believe they’ll be part of a formal walk through process.  So I gave the survey to 50 3 – 5th graders and collected the data.  The survey that I used can be accessed here.

I took the 50 students responses and had Excel calculate the averages for all of the questions. Below are few highlights from the feedback and reflection questions.  I used a 1 – 10 rating, with 1 being all the time and 10 being never.

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My takeaways:

I have to keep in mind that elementary students are taking this survey.  It’s valuable, but I feel like a third grader will perceive a question possibly different than a fifth grader.  Regardless, the data is valuable in my mind.  I looked over the numbers and shared this information with another class.  After showing the data we had a great conversation about reflecting on our learning.  Our conversation looked at the connection between allowing reflection opportunities and how they impact our learning.  We started connecting parts of the survey as a cause/effect scenario.  The conversation wasn’t too deep, but worthwhile as students made connections.  We decided that reflecting on our learning can be impactful, but not necessarily help a person understand a particular concept.  Feedback, reflection and opportunities to take action need to all be place. What seemed to be lacking this year were opportunities for students to reflect AND take action based on that reflection.  It’s important to reflect, but without any action or change in perception the act might not be reaching its full potential.  I decided to write an informal flow chart indicating the process that the classes tended to use.

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I told the students that one of my homework assignments over the summer is to provide ways to make student reflection opportunities more efficient.  This is something I’ll be revisiting in the fall with my new classes.

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4 thoughts on “Student Surveys and the Reflection Process

  1. I also gave my students a survey to fill out about my classes this year. I feel that I can’t improve myself unless I get authentic feedback, and who better to give it than the people who are with me 180 days out of the year! Thanks for sharing your takeaway–it has reminded me I need to blog about my survey and the takeaways I have as well. Have a great summer!

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    1. I agree, authentic feedback is valuable. After reviewing the results I’m thinking of giving the survey twice next year. Maybe once in January and June. I’d like more time to discuss the results with the class and take action. I look forward to reading your post.

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      1. I also thought of doing my survey twice next year–there is no reason why I can’t tweak things midyear if needed based on feedback from my students. Do you also do a parent survey?

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      2. The state already has parents complete a school survey (5 Essentials), but I don’t have an individual class survey for parents. I’d like to try something like that next school year.

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