../Images/btn_assessment_over.gif Classroom Interactions Attitude Surveys


A. Defining Targets for Attitude Performance
B. Creating a Survey
C. Displaying Survey Results


B. Creating a Survey 

Student attitudes and dispositions can be measured formally or informally. For example, teachers observe student actions and expressions throughout the school day.  Likewise, informal classroom interactions occur constantly, with questions such as "Did you enjoy the movie?" "Why the sad face?" and "Do you think you'd like to be an astronaut?" For this lesson, however, we will concentrate on a more formal format for attitude assessment -- a survey (also referred to as a questionnaire).

Here are a few general guidelines for creating a survey.

  • Set your targets first -- make sure you know why you are conducting the survey.
  • If necessary, obtain clearance from your principal or school district.
  • Make sure students understand the intent of the survey.
  • Provide clear directions about how to respond to the survey.
  • Keep it short (generally one page is sufficient).
  • Use a clear and concise writing style, at the appropriate reading level.
  • Don't ask questions that will embarrass anyone or invade students' privacy.
  • Don't ask questions that are not related to your classroom.
  • Allow plenty of time to conduct the survey.
  • If it is an anonymous survey, make sure it stays that way.
  • Don't reward or punish students based on their responses.
  • Keep survey results private -- do not leave them in places where others might access them.

Surveys can consist of open-ended questions, multiple-choice questions, or rating scales that allow students to indicate how strongly they agree or disagree with specific statements.  You can also use a combination of approaches -- as long as it's clear to the student how to respond to the questions.

Open-Ended Surveys

Open-ended surveys contain questions, followed by an area for the student to fill in a response. This survey type is generally used to obtain general, rather than specific, feedback from students. Writing open-ended surveys is quite easy; however, compiling the results can be more difficult because these surveys don't use a scale or ranking for options. 

When writing questions for open-ended surveys, do not make the questions too general or ambiguous. For example, suppose I would like to know your reaction to the online delivery of this course, and asked the following question:  "What do you think about the format of this class?"  The problem is that "format" can be ambiguous -- does it refer to online vs. classroom delivery; five lessons vs. ten; the structure of the lessons and the use of Try Its; the evaluation requirements; or the timeframe? If you have a specific target (purpose) for a question, you must make sure the question is clear.

Surveys can be conducted orally, on paper, or via a computer, and there are many tools available to help you create surveys.  For example, SurveyBuilder is a website that allows users to create free, online surveys.

Multiple-Choice Surveys

Is you have specific questions, with specific answer choices, the best approach might be to create a multiple-choice survey. For example, if I wanted to know which of the lessons in the course you felt was the most relevant or difficult or time-consuming or meaningless, I could construct a multiple choice question, with the lesson titles as the alternatives. For example:

Which lesson did you find most relevant for your classroom?

  1. Basic Concepts
  2. Selected Response Assessments
  3. Constructed Response Assessments
  4. Performance Assessment
  5. Classroom Interactions
  6. Attitude Surveys

Ranking Scale Surveys

Ranking scales (often referred to as Likert scales) are very common on surveys. Basically, a statement is presented, then the student can respond on a scale that indicates how much (or little) they agree with the statement (see Figure 2).

For the following statements, please indicate whether you agree or disagree. 
1=Strongly Disagree
4=Strongly Agree
This course is too time-consuming.
This course offers valuable information that I'll be able to use in my classroom.

Sample Likert scale.

In his book, Classroom Assessment: What Teachers Need to Know , Popham (2002) offers eight steps for building a Likert inventory or survey (p. 225-226).

  1. Choose the affective variable you want to assess.
  2. Generate a series of favorable and unfavorable statements regarding the affective variable.
  3. Get several people to classify each statement as positive or negative.
  4. Decide on the number and phrasing of the response options for each statement.
  5. Prepare the self-report inventory, giving students directions regarding how to respond and stipulating that the inventory must be completed anonymously.
  6. Administer the inventory either to your own students or, if possible (as a tryout), to other students.
  7. Score the inventories.
  8. Identify and eliminate statements that fail to function in accord with the other statements.



Try This

  1. Review the Student Survey  
    • How many negative statements can you find?
    • Why do you think they used a scale with five points instead of four?
    • How would you classify the survey (open-ended, multiple-choice, or ranking scale)?
    • What benefits did this teacher obtain from the attitude assessments?
    • What items do you think should be added to the survey?



Continue to Section C
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This course was developed in partnership between the Pinellas School
and the Florida Center for Instructional Technology at USF.
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