Interest Surveys

Interest Surveys inform instructional and support choices made based on students' or teachers' individual needs and preferences
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About This Strategy

Interest surveys are a method for collecting feedback from students or teachers to inform instructional choices or professional support made by teachers and administrators. For teacher use, an interest survey provides students with a voice in how they learn best and what their needs, interests, and preferences are. For administrators, interest surveys provide information about teachers interests, areas they would like support with, and ways to professionally group and lead teachers. Interest surveys can also help the teacher or administrator establish and maintain positive relationships with his or her students or colleagues. Students and teachers can inform and/or make choices about content, process, and product. Interest surveys are appropriate for all grade levels and subject areas, in addition to administrators and school leaders to distribute to teachers and and support staff.

Implementation Steps

30 minutes
  1. Brainstorm what pieces of information you would like to know about your specific audience. There are several templates and sample questions available in the resources section.

  2. Create an interest survey to distribute to your audience (i.e. students, teachers, instructional coaches, support staff, etc). There are several templates/samples available in the resources section.

    • To learn more about making instructional choices based on students’ individual needs and preferences, explore the I Wish My Teacher Knew and Windows and Mirrors strategies in the BetterLesson Lab.

  3. Distribute interest survey to your specific audience.

  4. Use the information gathered from the interest survey to guide your interactions with the designated audience.

    • For administrators, interest surveys could guide PLC groups, specific support given to teachers throughout the year, and professional development options.

    • For teachers, interest surveys could guide the types of activities you create for students based on their interests, learning styles, etc. It could also inform how you meet with students and what support you give students in small group and individual conferencing.

Additional Resources:

Questions to Consider

  • How could you modify this strategy to address the needs of your students?

  • How would you prompt students' thinking so that they make and share meaningful personal connections?

  • How would you connect student responses to your lessons?

  • How could you use the student responses to provide students with choice in how they learn and interact with activities in the classroom?

Tech Tools

Survey Monkey

  • Survey Monkey allows the user to design and distribute surveys through various avenues (e-mail, link, mobile, chat, social media, etc). It then provides the user with data and actionable insight regarding the survey responses.

Google Forms

  • Google Forms is a Google App that allows you to quickly and easily survey participants. It has numerous questioning style options including multiple choice, free response, short answer, likert scale, checkboxes, dropdown boxes, and multiple choice grid. It provides both whole group data/responses and individual data/responses and can be linked to Google Sheets for more data analysis options.

Related Lessons

Explore the "What Lights Your Fire" lesson by Erin Greenwood, a sixth-grade BetterLesson Science Master teacher, to see how she used student interest surveys to design her lessons.

Explore the "No Paper, No Problem" lesson by  Drewe Warndorff, a sixth-grade BetterLesson Special Education Science Master Teacher, to see how she used student interest surveys at the start of the year.

Explore the "Telling Lies that Sound True" lesson by Paula Stanton, a ninth-grade ELA BetterLesson Master Teacher, to see how she used student interest surveys to support students in getting to know each other at the start of the school year, and for her to learn about their learning "likes" and "dislikes".