Survey says…we get tired of emailed surveys. Our campus is currently experiencing very low response rates to emailed surveys, which is partially due to the overwhelming number of surveys we get via email. This has prompted our campus to create Guidelines for Conducting Online Surveys at our institution for surveys involving 100 individuals or more.

This said, what if you want to gather data about how well your students are learning the material in your class?

Luckily, we do not have to resort to email to gather data for classroom purposes. At Chapman, we have several data-gathering programs to help instructors find out more about what is happening in the classroom. There can be varied use cases for these programs, such as:

  • pre/post-learning diagnostics
  • midterm evaluations
  • quick comprehension checks
  • formative assessments

Each data-gathering program we have at Chapman University is unique with advantages and disadvantages based on the specific needs. Four of the main platforms we use to gather data and feedback are:

  • Blackboard tests/surveys: Used to gather anonymous (survey) or individual-specific (tests) information.
  • Poll Everywhere: Used to gather instant feedback that can be represented in graph or text form immediately in front of the class.
  • Google Forms: Easy-to-use program that gathers spreadsheet-based data that can be graphed.
  • Qualtrics: Robust surveying software that can be used to collect data and create visuals of research.

In the use-cases represented above, the following could be most helpful:

Pre/post-learning diagnostic: Blackboard tests for a simple overview of individual learning or Qualtrics for a more robust learning report with graphics.

Midterm evaluations: Blackboard surveys if these are done for credit (which increased the response rate). Blackboard keeps track of who answered but does not give an indication of which answer belongs to whom. If grades don’t matter, Google Forms or Qualtrics are adequate, as well, with anonymous feedback.

Quick comprehension checks: Poll Everywhere is a great polling system to show instant feedback on comprehension. It also helps to engage students during class sessions as they enjoy seeing if they’re understanding in comparison with other classmates (results are anonymous to students, but professors can set up the poll to see student data if they’d like).

Formative assessments: Blackboard tests can be designed to give instant feedback to students based on their responses. This can help students understand their weaknesses in strengths in the material.

For a little more explanation of these programs, click Survey programs at Chapman University or contact an Educational Technology representative ( or