Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Teacher Effectiveness Survey - Formulating Neutral Questions

Our Lunch N' Learn was designed toward analyzing data received from students after they completed our "Teacher Effectiveness Survey".  Some teachers have inquired as to "What makes a good question?"

To answer this, I asked our high school stats teacher, Mr. Martinson, to provide some examples as to what makes a valid question.  In his course work, students are instructed to always collect valid data and analyze it. He sheds some light on specific examples that could be included on a survey.

- Questions should be neutral, meaning they don't encourage a particular response. 

Neutral:   How does today's lesson compare to yesterday"s? 
Leading:  Didn't you like today's lesson better than yesterday"s?

Neutral: How does the use of technology affect your learning?
Leading: Many students feel technology helps them engage in their learning. How do you feel about technology?

- Avoid terms all students may not understand. 
  example: use the terms tests, quizzes, instead of formal assessment.
- Questions should have as many good options as bad options. 
  example: strongly disagree,disagree,agree, strongly agree

- People will often pick the middle if given an odd number of option (if providing an even number of options you can avoid this)

- Make sure every possible response has a place and that options are 
mutually exclusive (response should fall in one category, not more than one)
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