Education, Online Survey, Survey Examples

7 Types of Student Surveys – And Why They Are So Important


Today, student surveys are more important than ever. Whether you’re asking about the curriculum, bullying, or virtual learning during COVID, it’s beneficial to understand the viewpoint of students. Of course, there are a lot of student survey tools for teachers and educators out there, and some don’t get the job done. They may simply ask about satisfaction levels, and the answers you get might be pretty obvious. You may get answers such as “longer recesses” from grade-schoolers and “no Friday classes before noon” from university students. 

While it’s safe to assume surveying students of any age will bring about some of these frivolous requests, many students take a more thoughtful approach to surveys when they’re conducted appropriately, helping educators to see what’s important in their students’ world so they can institute better plans and goals, administer funding, and more.

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The Importance of Student Surveys

Any educator can tell you that students are full of opinions, even if they don’t always want to hear them! But let’s look at some of the ways surveying students can become a powerful tool to help school administrators and educators collect valuable data.

Revealing Problems or Trends

Educators are on the front lines when it comes to kids, but that doesn’t mean they always have insider information. Students, when surveyed correctly, can identify potential issues that administrators may be unaware of. They can then work to correct these issues before they become full-blown problems. 

Through surveys, many schools have been made aware of student challenges and have developed programs to support students. Of course, students aren’t always forthcoming with this type of information. However, they may disclose it in an anonymous survey which can push a school into action.

Revealing How to Make and Save Money

Funding in many school districts remains down, resulting in teacher layoffs, higher classroom density, cuts in the arts and sports programs, and outdated books and teaching materials. While students may not always have the answer to finding budgetary support, their survey responses can be used to apply for funding through grants. 

Based on what students deem important, school administration officials can determine where critical resources and funding should be distributed. In addition, the data from survey results can give key decision-makers a clear picture of the school’s financial investments and goals.

Improving Public Relations

The public hears a lot of information about their school districts through the media, who do not always paint an accurate or fair picture. When a school receives negative press, funding can drop and outrage can increase, and in our time of social media, these are headaches all administrators want to avoid. 

Surveying students about areas of concern – the safety of the school, or the care that its staff provides, can go a long way when the time comes to offset any negative publicity.

Seven Types of Student Surveys

Now, while we’ve been looking at the bigger picture of the benefits that can be reaped from surveys, it’s also important to look at the basics, which can often serve to highlight some of these more pressing, larger issues. Here are six potential surveys that educators may want to consider.

1. Student Satisfaction Survey

A student satisfaction survey asks students how they feel about a school’s environment and facilities. While the questions on this type of survey will vary, sometimes wildly especially when considering the age of the students, it’s ultimately designed to assess educational, social, and other aspects of the school or university. You can see a template of a university student satisfaction survey here

2. Student Engagement Survey

Student engagement surveys measure students at any level and are most common for university students. They help higher learning institutions gain actionable data that enables them to improve teaching and learning. This unique approach is gaining momentum, as it provides insight into what is driving student knowledge and, perhaps more importantly, care. These surveys can help revise curriculums, drawing in new students with relevant studies, and boosting enrollment.

3. Student Graduation Survey

Sometimes, the best insight you can get into your school or university is through students who are saying goodbye for good, as they have nothing to lose by being honest (the same concept applies to companies that hold “exit interviews” for employees who are leaving). The graduation survey asks students to assess many aspects of their learning and social experience so that leaders can make changes as needed, or build upon noted strengths.

It’s important to remember, just as in exit interviews, that the freedom of leaving responses without repercussion may result in survey bias; however, if there are enough students noting the same challenges, it’s likely worth a deeper look. Check out our student graduation survey template here

4. Student Motivation Survey

Usually used in K-12, this survey explores motivational aspects of students to determine whether they rank low, moderate, or high in a number of categories, such as their need for achievement (how important are grades?) and their need for intimacy (how much do social connections matter?). Answers to these questions can help educators customize their student curricula and experiences

5. Back to School Survey

This is an easy one. It’s designed simply to give every student a voice at the beginning of the school year, regardless of grade. It could ask what the student most looks forward to, or what they’re dreading! It exists to give educators a gauge of the incoming students’ thoughts, hopes, and fears for the year. That way, educators can improve upon the good and mitigate the bad.

6. Student Feedback Survey

These surveys generally apply to course and teacher assessments, regardless of student age. You can ask a kindergartener what they thought of their classwork (“just okay, but art was great!”) or a university student (“Economics 101 is useless for my future”). Either way, it provides open and honest feedback. You may be tempted to think those answers are unhelpful—however, could you change the kindergartner’s future classes to be sure he or she gets more art education. Or, could you allow the college student schedule customization so they can focus more on what matters to their impending graduation plans. Ultimately, this type of survey can also give your input on what students think of their course facilitators in order to re-train them or give them a high-five.

7. Virtual Learning/COVID Survey

All students have been impacted in one way or another by the coronavirus. Now, educators can use student surveys to prepare themselves for classes and meet student expectations when school resumes, regardless of whether classes will be held in person or online. Be sure to check out our blogs 15 Student Survey Questions to Ask About COVID and How to Use Student Surveys (Even During COVID) for more!


The importance of student surveys can’t be discounted—however, we’re willing to give you a discount to do just that. At SurveyLegend, we know as educators you have a strict budget that you must meet. We also know you want to be aware of student needs and concerns. Collecting feedback, then, is a must, so we’re proud to offer a 35% discount on our yearly plans and also a first-time 15% discount on all our monthly plans for teachers and educators, schools, and universities.

Do you use surveys in your school district or at your university? What types of questions do you ask and how has it benefitted you? Sound off in the comments!

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Why are student surveys important?

They can uncover many things, such as overall satisfaction with schooling, incidents of bullying, thoughts on virtual learning during COVID, and more.

How can schools survey students?

In today’s digital world, an online survey is the best way to reach students of every age. Online surveys can also be made anonymous, giving students the ability to be completely honest with their responses.

When should I survey my students?

Surveys can be used year-round to gauge student response to anything.

About the Author
Born entrepreneur, passionate leader, motivator, great love for UI & UX design, strong believer in "less is more”. Big advocate of bootstrapping. BS in Logistics Service Management. I don't create company environments, I create family and team environments.