Giving students surveys is a popular way to start school.

I’ve seen many different surveys on blogs and in books, but what I haven’t read as much about is how teachers sort through the results. I’m not sure if there is any right or wrong way to go through the results, but I do know that for secondary teachers, surveys create large amount of data to read and sort through.

Reading through the information is important, though. Surveys are often one of the first things we ask students to do, and they want to know that we read it, that we care about what they think and like. One student even asked me, “Are you really going to read what I put?”

Yes. Yes, I am.

I spend this Saturday afternoon reading through the results for a couple hours, and I ended up creating a few charts of results to share with students on a slidedeck. Doing it helped me think about the results and analyze them, but sharing the results with each class will give the students an overview of the learning environments and preferences that their classmates may have.

Plus, I learned all this about my students:

  • All the possible careers they’re considering
  • Creative projects is what the majority prefer for assessments
  • Experimentation and watching a video is the preferred way to learn for most of them
  • They’re curious about a variety of topics, including philosophy, mechanics, publishing, volcanoes, and self-esteem.

On Monday I’ll go over the results with them. I’m hoping that they’ll see that I am very interested in their lives and in the ways they enjoy learning, but also that our classroom is filled with students with other preferences, such as working alone, and they’ll need to respect those preferences.

Below is the slidedeck and the survey I used this year: