A student perception survey represents a powerful source of feedback for educators and administrators. As student surveys play a greater role in classrooms, schools, and districts, it’s integral to understand the ways that survey instruments can (but don’t always) reflect nuanced differences in student perceptions.
During the fall of my second year teaching in Charlotte, North Carolina, I was eager to find out more about the strengths of my teaching practice and areas where I could improve from the perspectives of my students. My fourth-graders provided feedback using Panorama’s surveys, which measured their perceptions of my teaching practice and our classroom environment across a variety of areas.
When running a survey, one number that receives frequent attention is the “response rate.” A relatively simple metric, a response rate represents the number of responses a survey has received divided by the total number of those who received the survey. For instance, if 1,500 respondents have taken the survey out of 10,000, then your response rate is 15%.
For middle and high school students, teacher-student relationships lie at the center of their educational experience. If you think back to your own educational experiences, this idea is rather intuitive; it’s unlikely that you can recall specific questions from a test or even your final grade in a class, but you may always remember the personal connections you made with a favorite teacher.
We know from Panorama’s student surveys how students view their relationships with teachers. Such positive relationships can lead to better educational outcomes for adolescent students. But how can we improve teacher-student relationships in the classroom?