Creative Ways to Survey Your Students

Understanding if you are teaching well is always important because it lets us know how effective we are being. It also from a business side directly relates to business growth. Let me share a few creative ways to survey your students.

Creative ways to survey your students include :

  • During Exams
  • Polls for Points
  • Marks for Completion
  • Lotto Style Rewards
  • Jackass Style
  • Mixing It Up
  • Easter Egg

This is a simple list of some ways to make your surveys more interactive and for the students to engage meaningfully every day with the teachers and faculty. Lets dig deeper into them and see what they actually mean.

Understanding How to Survey

We are all time poor and while it may not take long to do a survey it feels like everyone wants our opinion on something every day. I know I personally am fairly blase about them myself with every website you sign up to wanting to survey you. So lets first look at how you can get some more meaningful results without putting your students to sleep.

Amount of Questions

Never more than a page of questions that can be answered in a minute or under. And in most cases less than 5 questions or even just 1 strategically placed question where relevant included in your training material

Be clear and specific

Keep your questions as short as possible and on point to exactly what the student is currently doing with option boxes or yes or no questions.

Time Frame

Less than a minute is the maximum that you should be surveying for or it is not specific and is more general in nature.

Creative Styles of Surveys

During Exams

As controversial as this may seem surveying students during exams we are not talking about before the exam or hiding survey questions in the exam itself. But more at the end of the exam as follow up questions about the course and teacher. You can ensure completion rates by saying that to submit your their final result if they could just complete these 5 feedback questions.

Some example questions could be:

  • How confident where you coming into the exam?
  • How difficult did you find the exam?
  • Did the content prepare you for the exam?
  • How good was your teacher teaching this subject?
  • Do you feel you learned something that will be useful in the real world?

These 5 questions will let you know quite a lot for your follow up 5 questions you could ask the students later.

Polls for Points

Just like you get frequent flyer points for airlines you can provide students points that they can redeem for education related rewards like submitting an assignment a day late or to repeat an exam. Things that cost the business nothing but allow real value to students.

You could have assign points to rows in a lecture so if they want to sit up the back they have to earn the points or they sit in the front row. Getting creative with rewards it the goal and don’t forget some real rewards like vending machine snacks and 2 for 1 meals at the canteen. For online students you can offer Amazon website rewards they can have shipped to them.

Marks for Completion

If you have a bigger survey that you can just not get anyone to complete at the end of the year maybe offer 5% to 10% extra marks to the subject of the students choice for completion. This way you get valuable feedback at the same time as the student gets some real value.

Alternately instead of the marks for attendance for online training or in the classroom swap to marks for completing 5 survey questions each week similar to the ones in the Exam section above.

Lotto Style Rewards

If you don’t have a lot of money but wish to offer something a little larger as a reward then just have one reward. But make it a speed boat trip or jet ski’s or balloon ride and all every student needs to do to enter for that week is to answer the short survey.

Create it as a small phone app with a weekly notification and students will do it just for the chance to win. Also make second and third level prizes like 100 packets of chips or 10 meals at the canteen.

Again if you are only teaching online maybe Uber Eats rewards or similar so “Friday night dinner is on us!” style or even delivered pizza.

Jackass Style

While you are not going to hurt anyone for completing the survey you may make it again a phone app with a weekly reminder. And once they complete the survey they get to vote for their reward. This voting system might have rewards like:

  • Dunk a Teacher
  • Dye a Teachers Hair Red
  • Tattoo a Teacher (Henna)
  • Teacher in a Bubble (Walking Ball)
  • Teacher Sumo

These are all only semi permanent style pranks and maybe the amount of students surveyed levels up the prank to encourage completion. You obviously have to have your teachers on side and letting you know what they personally would like to do.

Mixing It Up

This is where students can decide each day how they want to mix it up which allows for each day to be different for them. They answer the survey as per the two examples above on a phone app and choose that days school reward. The catch is that enough students have to respond for it to happen.

Types of rewards:

  • 30 mins extra lunch time
  • Free Dress Day Tomorrow
  • Teachers don’t talk for a day (Mime, powerpoints, ect)
  • One on One Basketball with the Principle
  • Double Your Favorite Class Time

This just requires you get creative and whether you do it daily or weekly or monthly is up to you. If you have online students you can do the same thing but you have to choose things that have value to them.

Easter Egg

Easter Egg style rewards are ones that you use a certain image and spread it throughout you training material and students answer a questions and get 10 points for each one they find. Those points then add up to something tangible for them.


When we look at any reward systems we really have to make sure the students have a real chance to get the reward whether it is personal or for the group of students. The more the reward is in the real world for them even if they are online students the more effective they become.

TIP : Giving cash seems like a good idea but it has been proven with work bonuses that the length of time a staff member remembers it is very short compared to an experience or real world item. So a speed boat ride over the equivalent cash is the answer. SEE : Harvard Review Article

What Next?

Now that you know how some creative ways to survey your students how about looking at this article.

Article : How Can You Teach Online?

Glen Brown

I am a Technical Trainer and Manager with over 20 years experience in IT, Education and Business. I have multiple qualifications on each topic including post graduate qualifications. I have a passion for sharing knowledge and using technology to do this. If you would like to know more about me please see the about page of the website.

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