After a fun, interactive spring duty day session led by Kent Richards, I got to thinking about how I might more effectively collect useful information from my online students. How do I know whether they’re finding the audio feedback helpful? Are the study guides I’ve created useful to their learning experience? Is it easy for them to access the videoclips I’ve embedded into the discussion area?
I’ve used SurveyMonkey before to poll students about discussion results and opinions, but I’ve never used it to collect information about the usefulness of some of the online tools I use. I decided to give it a shot.
I’ve been embedding an audio welcome into the news area of my homepage for a few semesters now. I’ve been curious about how many students are able to open it. I would like to provide some audio feedback to certain dropbox assignments, but won’t do this unless I know it’s relatively easy for folks to access. So….I asked them! I created a two-question anonymous survey using SurveyMonkey (free and super-easy to do), embedded the link to it into my weekly news message (please let me know if you have questions about how to do this), and requested that students complete it. The results: To date, 61% of students have answered the questions, with 67% stating the embedded audio was easy to open and 82% stating they’d like to see more of it this semester.
I was frustrated to see that only two-thirds of the students were able to easily open the audio, but I also learned that I must instruct students to download the latest, free version of Adobe Flash Player in order to view the audioplayer itself (instead of that nasty white box with the little red X in the corner). Lesson learned!
I plan to continue surveying my students about various aspects of the class every few weeks this semester and expect that the responses will help to shape my classroom into a more user-friendly, effective place to learn!
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