Today most students are accustomed to completing surveys at school, especially in school districts and provinces that have developed their own satisfaction or effective school surveys. Students take the time to complete the surveys, but schools are not always confident that students are answering honestly or taking the surveys seriously and students sometimes feel tired of completing surveys without having a sense that their feedback is making a difference.
CEA recently had an opportunity to hold focus groups with students who have completed the What did you do in school today? (WDYDIST) – Tell Them From Me (TTFM) survey for two or three years. At each meeting we asked students what they thought about the survey. As we listened to different groups’ responses we learned that students are most likely to see the survey as a meaningful opportunity to share their experiences of school and learning when they:
- Understand who is asking the questions.
- Understand the purpose of the survey.
- See survey results and changes being made that respond to them.
- Are invited to collaborate with staff in using survey data as a tool for improvement.