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Getting Started With Evidence-Based Student Survey Tools

Reviwed by Cleo Westhorpe, Co-founder of Pivot and Teacher

As education continues to evolve at warp-speed in the modern world, the need for informed decision-making becomes paramount. One essential tool in the arsenal of teachers and school leaders to know what to act on and action are student survey instruments.

Surveys provide a window into the thoughts and experiences of students, offering valuable insights that can shape educational and instructional strategies to create positive change in classrooms.

Pivot's Student Survey on Teaching is an evidence-based and renowned survey tool, designed by educators for educators and aligned with national teacher standards and international teaching frameworks.

In this article, we delve into the world of student survey tools, exploring their impact for students, teachers and school leaders, and the role they play in designing an educational future where students are our partners in learning.

Why Would a Primary School or Secondary School Be Curious About Student Perspectives on Teaching?

Student survey tools provide us with the missing piece of the puzzle: a student perspective to support a holistic view of the learning environment. When we involve students as our partners in learning, we build a foundation of open communication and understanding among everyone in the learning community. These tools provide school leaders with the means to:

  • Gain In-Depth Insights: Student survey tools help uncover nuances in teaching methods, curriculum effectiveness, and classroom dynamics. This data aids in tailoring instructional strategies to suit whole-classroom, flexible grouping and individual student needs.

  • Foster Collaboration: Surveys inspire constructive conversations among educators, allowing them to share ideas, strategies, and best practices. This collaboration - ‘Collective Teacher Efficacy’ - enhances teaching quality and student engagement.

  • Measure Student Wellbeing: Understanding students' emotional well-being is critical. Survey tools can uncover stressors or concerns, enabling timely interventions to create a more and/or adjusted supportive environment. Pivot’s Wellbeing For Learning tool is specifically designed to measure student wellbeing.

  • Drive Positive Change: Armed with evidence-based insights, schools can make informed decisions to drive continuous improvement. These tools empower leaders to implement changes that positively impact both teachers and students.

How Do Student Surveys Support the Impact of the Reflective Teacher?

Educators are the driving force behind learning impact in our classrooms. As reflective (and responsive) educators stand to gain immensely from the feedback gathered through student surveys:

  • Professional Growth: Honest, authentic and confidential student feedback offers educators a chance for self-reflection and growth. Teachers can refine their teaching methods based on student perspectives.

  • Tailored Instruction: Student surveys highlight the diversity of student learning behaviours, enabling teachers to adapt their approaches and accommodate various preferences within the classroom.

  • Enhanced Engagement: By addressing students' concerns and interests, teachers can foster a more engaging and participatory classroom environment. Listening to and acting upon the data insights is core to positive change for teachers and students.

  • “Instruction Satisfaction”: When we see the positive outcomes of changes implemented in our classrooms, teachers can experience a heightened sense of accomplishment and job satisfaction.

How Do Student Surveys Make an Impact on the Student?

The influence of student surveys extends directly to the learners themselves through:

  • Voice, Agency and Participation: Surveys give students a platform to express their opinions and concerns, making them feel valued as active contributors to their own education.

  • Positive Learning Environment: Schools that use survey tools show a commitment to student learning and well-being, creating a safer and more positive environment where students can thrive.

  • Tailored Learning: When educators adapt teaching methods based on student feedback, students experience a more personalised learning journey that meets their individual needs.

  • Ownership of Learning: By engaging in the feedback process, students become more accountable for their education and take ownership of their learning outcomes.

How Will Education Evolve in the Coming Years?

The future of education is dynamic, driven by advances in technology, changes in societal norms, and a growing emphasis on individualised learning. Student survey tools will play an even more pivotal (excuse the pun!) role in shaping this evolution. Data collection, analysis and dashboards such as Pivot’s provide educators with fast-tracked and timely insights into student needs and preferences.

Where Should You Start with Student Survey Tools?

If you're a student leader, educator, school leader, or head of department looking for an evidence-based decision-making tool, Pivot's student surveys should be your starting point. Our team is here to support schools and education systems to embed Pivot as a cornerstone of feedback culture, and create a brighter future for both educators and students.

The first step in your Pivot journey? Book a Discovery Call with one of our School Partnership Managers. We’d love to chat!

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