The coronavirus has had a profound effect on just about everyone, from healthcare workers on the frontlines to hospitality workers who’ve been largely sidelined. One group that has been heavily impacted is students.
Overnight, many schools and universities canceled classes completely until the end of the school year or semester—some even indefinitely. Others made a quick switch to distance learning, having students log on through online video sessions. Of course, school is not just about learning—students’ social experiences have been greatly diminished, too.
Engaging with students through student surveys is one way that educators can plan for the next school year and decide the best way to move forward.
How the Coronavirus Impacted Students’ Lives
When it comes to disrupting the lives of students, the coronavirus didn’t discriminate based on age. All students were impacted in one way or another. A lot of early conversations revolved around students in primary school (grades K-5) who, more than higher grades, need and crave structure to get the most out of the learning experience. With their short attention spans, could they really learn in a virtual setting?
Of course, another group highly impacted by COVID-19 is the Class of 2020. These students were robbed of their senior year and all of the experiences that come with it; prom, class pictures, graduation ceremonies, etc.
That’s not all; the coronavirus has made many of these seniors reconsider their college plans. According to a recent survey of students who had planned to go to a four-year college, 1 in 10 said they were likely to change their plans. Some cite their frustration with online learning, while others state that their (or their parents) financial situation has changed due to the pandemic.
Why Educators Should Reach out to Students
School may be over for the year (or coming to an end very soon), but educators can still be active in their students’ lives to better prepare them for classes when they resume, whether they’ll be held in person or online.
In our blog, Educating Students Outside of the Classroom, we talked about some of the ways educators not actively teaching can continue to have a positive impact on students. Some ideas included:
- Creating a moderated community discussion board for students
- Keeping students and parents updated through social media
- Holding webinars to allow students to “catch up” if they missed anything during previous online sessions or as refresher courses.
All of these serve to let students and parents know that teachers and administrators are still there for them.
How Surveying Students Can Make Next Year Great
Student surveys are a fantastic way for educators to reach out to students and get their feedback on the previous school year as well as their thoughts on the upcoming school year. After all, you never know where the next great idea may come from!
You may be wondering: “What are good survey questions for students?” Here are 10 questions educators may consider asking as part of an end-of-year student survey:
- Were you satisfied with the school’s response to the coronavirus crisis?
- What could we have done better during the COVID-19 crisis to help you get the most out of your studies?
- Did you feel you had the necessary support and resources you needed to effectively study from home during the coronavirus crisis?
- Do you think your peers were engaged during virtual classroom sessions?
- What did you miss most about physically attending class?
- What do you prefer, virtual learning or physically attending class?
- If online learning continues next year/semester, what could be done to improve the virtual classroom experience?
- Has distance learning made you less excited for college, more excited, or about the same?
- What was the most challenging aspect of online learning?
- Do you have any ideas on how to better integrate more interactive studies into a virtual learning setting? (e.g., theater, choir, physical education, life skills, etc.)
Your questions will vary depending on the age of the students you’re surveying and what you’re trying to uncover. You may also alter the questions somewhat and consider sending another survey to parents to collect their input as well (check out some of our education survey templates here).
By surveying students and their parents, educators can develop or alter their plans for the following school year/semester. Even if physical classroom sessions resume, there are still likely to be safety protocols in place (i.e., social distancing), so now is a good time to be thinking ahead.
Conduct Your Student Surveys with SurveyLegend
Have some student survey questions you need answers to? You’re in luck! SurveyLegend offers pre-designed surveys that are easy to create (and easy on the eyes). They’re secure to maintain student privacy and they’re responsive—automatically adjusting to the small smartphone screens that your students are probably attached to!