August 3, 2013

Anonymous surveys can be a valuable tool to gather information from students regarding their perceptions of their own learning styles and progress, of an
instructor’s teaching styles, assignments, tests, and of other aspects of the learning environment. Some course-management software systems provide a built-in capacity to administer ananonymous survey, but not all do, and not all instructors have access to course management software. In addition, students may not always trust the anonymity of one module of a software system whose other modules are explicitly not anonymous.

Free online surveys are available through several providers including (in early 2013) SurveyMonkey, KwikSurveys, QuestionPro, and others. Instructors from anywhere in the world can access the services. Surveys are easy to construct and a survey-specific URL makes them available to students for any desired period of time. Results of multiple-choice questions can be summarized and answers to essay questions can be collected within the software. Survey results can be used to promote reflection by students and instructors, monitor student progress, and fine-tune teaching approaches.

Journal of Teaching and Learning with Technology

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