Thorough planning and preparation ensure a smooth and consistent survey administration. This gives you reliable data about your students and school.
It is important that students, teachers, and parents know why the survey is taking place and its goals and benefits. A key message to all three of these groups is that the survey is anonymous, voluntary, and participants may skip any questions they are not comfortable answering.
- Remind staff of the survey’s purpose: getting reliable student data to improve the school.
- Tell school personnel about the survey. Hold an information session to hear questions.
- View the survey questions so survey administrators know what students will experience.
- Anticipate student questions about certain words or phrases. For example, bullying, as defined by the survey, may differ from students' understanding of this term.
- Not all students receive identical surveys. For example, students who indicate they were bullied may be filtered to receive additional questions.
- Announce the survey to parents and caregivers (e.g., newsletter, social media).
- Make a survey timetable so teachers know when and where they are doing the survey.
- Investigate technical limitations, such as internet bandwidth.
- Use consistent instructions and procedures to ensure all students have the same experience.
- Consider additional staff for students who may require help.
- Plan an activity for students who finish first.
Inform Your Students
- Before you administer the survey, explain how student voice shapes the school.
- Tell students that answers are confidential and anonymous. Questions that make them uncomfortable can be skipped.
- Inform students that some questions stay the same each year to accurately track improvements
- Share previous results with students. Let them know of school initiatives developed due to survey results.
- Hold a focus group to speak directly with students to gather more in-depth information about why they are not interested and motivated, or any other topic you choose.