Technology Enhanced Learning Team

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Gathering Feedback

This page discusses the importance and ways of gathering student feedback with the help of :

  • Choice Tool
  • Survey Tool
  • Feedback Tool
  • Bristol Online Survey

Student feedback offers an important source of ideas when considering quality review and improvement. Seeking input from students when planning teaching or support activities can also be helpful in ensuring their needs are met and the activities are successful. QMplus offers a variety of tools which support in gaining student input and feedback, – including the choice, feedback and survey activities. Furthermore, forums and the groups and portfolios tools are also available where networking groups can be set up to support working together to plan or review an area of interest. Other online and classroom tools can be used, often at no cost, to support other methods gaining input and feedback. This page will explore some of these tools and ways they can be used in your teaching. Particularly

  • Discuss ways of gathering student input and feedback with QMplus
  • Consider the best ways of using these tools in their context

Choice tool – A choice activity is very simple – the teacher asks a question and specifies a choice of multiple responses. It can be useful

  • as a quick poll to stimulate thinking about a topic
  • to test students prerequisite knowledge
  • to allow the class to vote on a direction for the course
  • to gather consent

Survey  – The Survey module in QMplus is a course activity that provides verified survey instruments, including COLLES (Constructivist On-Line Learning Environment Survey) and ATTLS (Attitudes to Thinking and Learning Survey), which have been found useful in assessing and stimulating learning in online environments. Teachers can use these tools to gather data from their students that will help them learn about their class and reflect on their own teaching. These surveys are particularly useful for evaluating online learning environments that use a constructivist pedagogy. They are also useful to identify certain trends that may be happening among participants. (To see a paper where these are used in a detailed analysis, see:

The COLLES (Constructivist On-Line Learning Environment Survey) comprises an economical 24 statements grouped into six scales, each of which helps us address a key question about the quality of the on-line learning environment:

  • Relevance – How relevant is on-line learning to students’ practices?
  • Reflection – Does on-line learning stimulate students’ critical reflective thinking?
  • Interactivity – To what extent do students engage on-line in rich educative dialogue?
  • Tutor Support – How well do tutors enable students to participate in on-line learning?
  • Peer Support – Is sensitive and encouraging support provided on-line by fellow students?
  • Interpretation – Do students and tutors make good sense of each other’s on-line communications?

(This information has been adapted from the COLLES page. You can find out more about COLLES and the authors of it at:

ATTLS – Attitudes to Thinking and Learning Survey – The theory of ‘ways of knowing’, originally from the field of gender research (Belenky et al., 1986) provides us with a survey tool to examine the quality of discourse within a collaborative environment. The Attitudes Towards Thinking and Learning Survey (ATTLS) is an instrument developed by Galotti et al. (1999) to measure the extent to which a person is a ‘connected knower’ (CK) or a ‘separate knower’ (SK). People with higher CK scores tend to find learning more enjoyable, and are often more cooperative, congenial and more willing to build on the ideas of others, while those with higher SK scores tend to take a more critical and argumentative stance to learning.

Please note that these surveys are only a reflection of learning attitudes, not learning capacities or intellectual power.

Feedback – The Feedback module allows you to create and conduct surveys to collect feedback. Unlike the Survey tool it allows you to write your own questions, rather than choose from a list of pre-written questions and unlike the Quiz tool, you can create non-graded questions. The Feedback activity is ideal for the likes of course or teacher evaluations. Available question types in Feedback are as follows –

  • Longer Text Answer
  • Dropdownlist
  • Numeric answer
  • Multiple choice
  • Short Text Answer

Other useful tools

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