Engaging with your students

Students are motivated to participate in surveys when they believe their feedback will impact change.  When they feel like their time and effort in giving feedback won't matter, they tend to refrain from participation. Even though we send out email invitations to your students, it is important that they also receive an overt invitation from you.

  • Consider setting aside some class time for students to complete the surveys. You can ask students to take out their phone or laptop and fill out the form right away.
  • Consider adding a short section to your course syllabus about student feedback and review it with your students at the beginning of the term. See your survey schedule to add specific dates. The note could look something like: 

Learning Experience Feedback: Towards the end of the course, you will receive an email from the Course Experience Survey (CES) program inviting you to give feedback (confidentially) on your learning experience in this course. You will get to reflect on how the course content worked for you as well as provide feedback on my teaching. I value this feedback and use it to make changes to this course, reflect on my teaching approach, and add highlights to my teaching portfolio. If you have any feedback or concerns before this time, please do not hesitate to reach out to me.

The SETC Improvement Project: Response Rates

"Online surveys have low response rates compared to the paper version. I used to get at least 80%!" Is a common refrain heard at higher education institutions using online student feedback systems. A low response rate is concerning. How can an instructor reliably generalize aggregated response data to their students? The first step in raising the response rate is explained above: let your students know that their feedback matters to you. Going further, our team is analysing data to understand the demographic make-up of responders and non-responders. We are also speaking directly with students to understand where they are coming from. You can learn more about the response rate analysis here on the SETC Improvment Project page.