Extending your survey window can impact the interpretation of your results as those responding at the beginning of the school year may have a different experience than those responding during the middle or end of the school year.
Instead of leaving the survey open all year long, we generally recommend implementing two separate snapshots. This means scheduling one survey period early in the school year (October) and another late in the year (April or early May). This enables you to get a view of your students' voice during this particular “snapshot” of time.
Please contact us for more details.
As a District Coordinator, you determine the survey window or period according to your context. You can close the surveys for your district at the time of your choosing, however, we recommend encouraging your schools to complete their surveys within the window that your division has set.
Please contact us for more details.
The OurSCHOOL survey is intended to afford all students the opportunity to share their voice. By focusing on a smaller sample of students rather than the whole school/student population, you risk losing the perspectives of students who are not asked to participate. This can also impact your year-over-year comparisons of previous survey results.
If you are required to reduce your sample size or adjust your survey approach, the Research team can assist you in your planning to ensure the most representative sample is constructed. Contact us for more information.
To provide you with relevant and actionable data, we have developed the Well-Being Survey that will allow you to deeply understand all aspects of your students’ well-being and the role that your school plays in it; and the Transition Back to School Module designed to provide you with a snapshot of the impact of COVID-19 on your school community. This new survey content will help you to set goals and inform strategies for the new school year.
Please contact your Account Success Manager for more details.
Please contact our Research and Engagement team if you require support in selecting your measures or understanding the impact of blending learning models on your survey results.
For a contactless distribution, we would recommend using the mail merge function in Excel (or a comparable spreadsheet) which will allow you to efficiently email unique usernames and passwords to a list of students, parents or teachers.
For more ideas and strategies, please review our article Best Practices: Usernames and Passwords
You may consider walking through the survey with students ahead of time to address any questions they may have. You can also have a dedicated number or other type of support (e.g., Google Hangout, Zoom call, Microsoft Teams) available for students who may have questions.
Before getting started this year, we recommend reviewing the following Knowledge Base articles and resources:
- Surveying at home
- Best Practices: Usernames and Passwords
- Answering Students’ Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the OurSCHOOL Survey?
- Student Survey - Letters Home [Long Versions]
- Student Survey - Letter to Parents [Short Version]
- Sample PowerPoint: We Asked, You Said
- OurSCHOOL Presentation [template]
There is no time limit when individual students take the survey - they can take as much time as needed or complete the survey in multiple sittings. The survey is set so that each page of entered responses is saved as soon as the survey taker clicks the 'next' button. If the survey taker retains their username/password login, they can resume the survey from the point they left off (before the interruption, such as a power failure or logout).
For schools and districts, we recommend a survey window or period to last for up to four weeks with all students being invited to participate. However, if you wish, you can leave the survey window open for an extended period of time. Please contact us for more details.
In the event that you are unable to implement your surveys this Fall, we can move it to Winter or Spring 2021. Please keep in mind the experiences of students will be different in the Spring than in the Fall.
- For the School - Normally, the district has the option to choose one or 2 snapshots in a year and the surveys can be done both in Fall and Winter/Spring. Please contact your District Coordinator for more information on this.
- For the District - Normally, the district has the option to choose one or 2 snapshots in a year and the surveys can be done both in Fall and Winter/Spring, however this would also depend on any special conditions in the Licence Agreement.
Please note, while surveying you can monitor your schools’ progress using the Monitor Progress page on the OurSCHOOL website. Your focus will be on the Response Rate and Close Survey columns on this page.
While important, the national, provincial and replica lines may not reflect the ideal comparison at this time. The best comparison is whatever your previous data point was.
If you see differences from your historical data in the fall. You should closely monitor this data moving forward, and apply year-over-year comparisons, to guide you as you recover from that dip to pre-COVID values. Please see our Post COVID-19 Data interpretation support article for more information.
If your surveys were started and closed before the outbreak and subsequent school closures related to COVID-19, no related impacts to the data would be expected. However, keep in mind, if fewer students were able to complete the survey last year due to school closures, you may see greater variability/increased fluctuation in student responses.
If you surveyed after OR both before and after the global pandemic disturbed schooling, it is very likely that the survey results will differ from historic results.
Similarly, for schools that surveyed from home, due to being instructed to think back to their schooling experience in the past, it is possible that the survey results will differ.
So, in those later cases, you would need to take into account that unexpected differences in your data would very likely be a reflection of those circumstances and use the year-over-year function to track these differences.
Please see our Post COVID-19 Data interpretation support article for more information.
Your survey results should always be interpreted with the context of your school year in mind.