Capturing feedback from your students is one of the best ways you can improve your school! When you take the time to learn how your students are experiencing your school’s culture, leadership team, classes, and more, you can make strategic changes that strengthen your school’s environment.
By asking specific questions, you can provide space for students to reflect on their school experience and offer constructive feedback. Their responses will reveal how to make improvements to create a more transformative experience for future students.
Below, we share insight about the value of students surveys and how to use the content for your school’s benefit. Through this post, may you and your team be equipped to capture and utilize student feedback in new and meaningful ways!
Make Student Surveys Valuable
When you develop survey questions, we encourage you to ask questions to discover how your students were impacted and transformed throughout the year. Did they experience spiritual growth? What was their favorite aspect of school? Are they living out your core values? Are they being activated in ministry? Asking the right questions will determine the value of your survey results! It’s helpful to even keep your school’s mission and learning objectives (see 4 Steps to Develop Transformative Curriculum) in mind.
One of the first steps you can take to develop strong questions is to identify the markers or topics you want to measure. For example, if you want to identify the strengths and areas of growth for activations in your school, ask students what ministry opportunities they enjoyed the most as well as the level in which they felt activated. Also, ask them to include one of their favorite testimonies from the school year.
You can also use survey questions to find out what culture your students experienced at your school. For example, ask questions to find out if students felt connected to community. Your students’ responses will reveal if they received what they came for! More administrative components of your school, such as finances, attendance, and homework, are also important question topics to cover in a survey. By asking a variety of questions, you will have an even fuller picture of your students’ experience, and can use the information to streamline school systems for the following year!
Analyze Results with Your Team
Once you have your survey results, it’s important to spend time going over the results as a group. In advance, we encourage you to share responses with your fellow leaders so that everyone has an opportunity to look over responses individually. At BSSM, we ask our team to be ready to celebrate what went well, discuss negative feedback, and identify common trends. We also find that it’s beneficial to meet with pastors or administrators individually to discuss specific feedback.
We provide student surveys in the middle and the end of the BSSM school year. Our mid-year survey is a shorter evaluation we go over as a team that gives us a pulse on how students are experiencing school, and if we need to make any important adjustments.
When we receive our end of the school year results, we do a more in-depth breakdown by discussing positive and negative trends. These conversations help shape the course of the next year, including choosing which classes to offer, what topics to cover in the main session, and what improvements to make to administrative systems. During these meetings, we also spend time dreaming about next year, asking the Holy Spirit for direction, and then use the summer to prepare!
As you look through your survey results, remember that not all feedback is created equal. Much of the responses you receive from students will be valuable, but sometimes it can be complaining disguised as constructive feedback. It is important to know the difference. We encourage you to invite the Holy Spirit into this process. He will give you the wisdom to identify the feedback that is important for your leaders’ growth and your students’ growth.
Implement Changes for Improvement
Lastly, we encourage you to take the time to make any changes that will enhance your school. If there was a class that most students did not enjoy or value, the solution could be to change the format of how it is taught, bring in a different instructor, or perhaps to remove the class from your school’s schedule. Remember, the Lord has wisdom for your team to implement changes!
You may find that some students will provide specific ideas for changes on their surveys. Use these to your advantage! Students may not know all the factors that go into making school-wide decisions, but use their ideas as best you can. Remember, you may not be able to make all the changes before the next school year. Prioritize what you feel the Lord is highlighting and take those steps forward.
To help illustrate how to create dynamic survey questions, we’ve included a free PDF, Sample Survey Questions. We bless the surveys you create and the feedback you receive from them to benefit your school environment and future students.
Google Survey and SurveyMonkey are two sites that will allow you to create surveys for free! Share the link with your students and let the site track student responses. Once your students have completed the survey, you can export the results to share with your leadership team.