Key takeaway: Ed’s survey templates allow you to accurately judge the success of your elearning content from the perspective of your learners.
While our analytics suite provides you with everything you need to know about learners’ progress through material, and the ability to create a test lesson ensures that learners have all the knowledge required of them, getting direct feedback from learners on how they feel they are progressing, what they would like to learn more of, or what course material they think could be improved, is only possible through the use of Surveys.
Survey templates are available via the template library, and can be applied to a slide of your lesson just like any other template. You can create multiple choice questions, present your learners with a likert scale in the form of a Slider template, and ask your learner to fill out free-text responses to questions (with the ability to set a minimum response length). Responses are collated per lesson in the surveys LMS analytics tab, with data exportable to Excel and CSV files.
When to deploy surveys
There are two main approaches as to when to deploy a survey in Ed – and it all depends on what information you want to get out of it.
For instructional designers who are looking to get learners to provide a self-evaluation of knowledge on a topic before and after completing their learning content – to get their perspective on how successful the course was – surveys are typically deployed in two stand-alone lessons, one at the very beginning of the course, and one at the end. These lessons are identical, to make comparisons between learners’ responses possible (achieved by duplicating the lesson within the course using the copy lesson functionality, or the import slides feature). These surveys mostly use Slider survey templates, asking learners to rate their understanding on particular topics on a scale of 1 to 5.
For those looking to get their learner’s feedback on how the course could be improved (e.g. “Are there any areas in which you do not feel confident?” “What would you like to learn more about in future courses?”). These slides are typically included at the end of the final lesson of a course. This type of learner feedback is most commonly collected with Multiple Choice or Free Text survey templates.
Designing good surveys
There are a few key concepts to keep in mind when designing top quality surveys. At a top level, you need to have a unique, targeted objective for your survey – what information are you trying to uncover from your learners? You are still constructing a microlesson, which means that your learners’ time is a valuable resource, and should be used only when required. Each question you ask should have an identified objective which it helps achieve.
At a more granular level, you should be keeping your target learner in mind when constructing your questions. Will the questions apply to everyone completing the content, even for those at different levels within a company? You should also keep in mind that questions here need to be as clear as possible for learners, not only to ensure that confusion about what is being asked does not skew responses. The wording used in questions should be that which all can understand and, in the case where uncommon terms or phrases are used (e.g. acronyms), make sure that your learners are clear on what they are being asked.
Double-barrelled questions are single questions which ask about more than one topic, and can also present difficulties in how to respond to them. For instance, the yes / no question “Do you feel that you now understand more about sales skills and customer service skills?” would be difficult to accurately answer for one who is now confident in their sales skills, but still feels their customer service skills are lacking. A good warning sign of a double barrelled question is the usage of “and” in Multiple Choice, or Slider questions (however such questions can still be asked without the use of “and”). In these cases, separate the question over two different slides.
Leading questions are worded in such a way to encourage one answer over another. For example, questions like “Don’t you agree with us that this was a great course on customer service skills?” is far more likely to produce a “yes” answer than “How would you rate your customer service skills on a scale of 1-5?”. Leading questions do not produce valuable data – they skew your results to lean towards one particular viewpoint, and do not accurately represent your learners feelings. Keeping your survey questions unbiased will lead to quality data which you can use to improve your content, or ascertain your learners’ view of their progress.
Some instructonal designers have used the Free Text survey template to get their learners thinking about particular concepts.
This type of reinforcement should be included after interactive templates, which are still extremely effective at immediate reinforcement – helping learners fully understand concepts, correcting misconceptions and embedding key messages into their memories. From here, the Free Text template can get your learners to apply themselves in an environment which does not have the support of pre-filled answers to guide them.
Have any questions about surveys in Ed? Send us your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org (but don’t forget to make them unbiased – and we won’t be responding to any double barrelled questions. You have been warned!).