Improving survey response rates

While there is no ‘good’ response rate to an evaluation survey, it’s usually accepted that a higher response rate may lessen the possibility of non-response bias.

If your students understand why you’re asking them to fill in a survey, they’re more likely to do it. Let your students know why we survey them and how the results help you and them. Research shows that if you spend a bit of class time explaining the purpose and importance of feedback, your students are more likely to complete a survey.

There are a number of ideas you can follow to encourage students to complete the SuES:

  • Be engaged yourself if you want students to engage. Discuss the survey with students. Tell them their feedback makes a meaningful contribution; that it is valued and acted upon.
  • Give examples of how student feedback from a previous teaching period has been used to inform improvements to the subject or learning experience.
  • Run through the survey questions with your students, online or in class, and explain their context to your subject.
  • Guide students on how to give constructive feedback. You can illustrate this by explaining how you give constructive feedback to them on their assessment tasks.
  • Reassure students on the confidentiality of the online survey process and feedback.
  • For face-to-face classes, allocate a specific time during class for students to complete the online survey using their laptop or other mobile device.
  • Monitor the response rate from the Course Evaluation dashboard. Let students know you are monitoring the response rate because their feedback is important to you.
  • Put up a reminder message on your subject site asking students to complete the survey. Students can access the SuES from their subject site using the Evaluation menu link.

Guides and resources

  • SuES class presentation PowerPoint
    You can use the SuES class presentation PowerPoint to motivate your students to provide useful feedback through their survey participation. The PowerPoint presentation is brief, and there are accompanying notes for you to refer to.

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