Create a survey about educational quality for students

This page describes how to create a survey for students at about educational quality in SelectSurvery.

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På norsk: Lage spørreskjema til studentene om utdanningskvalitet

The tool SelectSurvey can be used to create and distribute a digital survey. Surveys for course evaluations are reported to the Norwegian Data Protection Authority (Datatilsynet). For other types of surveys, contact orakel@ntnu.no, they will help you as far as the capacity reaches.

As course coordinator, you can use the results of the survey as a basis for student evaluations.

Log on to SelectSurvey #

Log on to SelectSurvey with the same username and password as you use for Innsida.

Reusing surveys #

You can reuse previously created surveys. If you haven’t deleted the old survey it will appear on the ‘Manage Surveys’ page when you log in. Copy it to create a new survey by following these steps:

1. Click Create Survey in the upper right corner.


2.On the Create Survey page, write the title of the new survey.

3. Check Copy existing. Click Please Select and chose the survey you want to copy.


You will now be redirected to a Modify Survey page where you will find the contents of the original survey.

Lower down on the page there is information about sending the survey to the students and analysing the results of the survey.

Create a survey based on a template #

There is a recommended set of questions that you can use to evaluate a course. The questions highlight the correlation between the course and the learning outcomes.

1. Once you have logged on, go to the Managed Survey page.

2. Next click Create Survey in the upper right corner.


3. On the create survey page, enter the title of the new survey.

4. Check From Scratch

5. Click Save


6. You should now be directed to the ‘Modify Survey’ page. Click insert to get to th ‘Edit Survey Item’.


7. Click Insert from Library.


8. ‘KVASS-bibliotek’ should be entered in the ‘Library’ field. In the field ‘Item’, choose Course Evaluation.

9. Click Continue, and you should be directed to the ‘Edit Survey Item’ page.


10. Click Save at the bottom of the window, and you should be directed to the ‘Modify Survey’ page.


11. Click on Page 1 in the upper right of the page. The template will then appear.

12. Click done at the bottom of the page to return to the ‘Manage Surveys’ page.


Here’s how to send the survey to the students.

Use the template with your own questions #

You can make a new survey with a combination of questions from the template and your own questions. After you’ve made a survey from the template (local link), you can changed the recommended question set by:

1. Go back to the ‘Manage Survey’ page by click on Surveys in the upper menu line.

2. Edit the survey by clicking the Design icon (blue paint brush) to the right of the name of your survey.


3. To the right of the standard questions, you will see a row of buttons. Click the Edit button, and you will be redirected to the ’Edit Survey Item’ page.


4. Scroll down until you find the Rows field, where the standard questions are entered.

5. Write your own questions at the bottom of the ‘Rows’ filed. Note that every question must be on its own line.


6. Click Save on the right side when you are down writing your additional questions. You will then be redirected to ‘Modify Survey’ where you will find the revised survey.

You have to delete all responses before performing this operation.

Tips for writing good survey questions #

Base the questions on the learning outcomes for the course. Don’t use the same questions for all of your courses.

  • Ask about things you actually want to know. Don’t ask questions about things you can’t change.
  • Don’t be vague.
  • Which of the syllabus texts did the students find:
    • most instructive
    • most difficult to understand
    • easiest to understand(and why)
  • Don’t ask if the survey if too hard or too easy.
  • What teaching elements (syllabus, groups, lectures, exercises) did the students find most important or useful for their academic development? Don’t ask if the lectures were good, bad or OK.
  • To what degree do the students find correlation between the course and the other courses in their programme of study? Don’t ask if the course was interesting.
  • Encourage the members of the reference group to ask questions about the organisation, execution, choice of syllabus, etc. Don’t just ask for criticism and praise.
  • Ask the students to evaluate to what degree they have achieved the learning outcomes of the course. Don’t ask them to evaluate the yield of the lectures.
  • Have the students write answers in their own words. Don’t turn the survey into a random multiple choice form.
  • Think not of what the evaluation process want from you, but what you want from the evaluation process.
  • The evaluation process is a tool, not a popularity contest.

These tips are written by Nina Lager Vestber from the Department of Art and Media Studies, NTNU.

Previewing the survey #

Click Design to see that survey before sending it.


On the top of the Modify Survey page, click Preview


Note that you will be registered as a respondent when you have previewed the survey. You should delete your data by clicking Clear on the far left on the ‘Manage Survey’ page for the applicable survey. The ‘Clear’ button is symbolised with an X.


Sending the survey to the students #

1. On the ‘Manage Survey’ page, click the Surveys button in the upper tab.

2. Change the status to Open. The status button is located to the far left of the title of the survey.

3. Click the Deploy icon (a blue letter) to the right of the title of the survey.


4. You should now be redirected to the ‘Deploy Survey’ page. In the Email link filed, you will find the link to the survey that can be send the students who are to answer it. Copy and paste this link into Itslearning, an email or your course channel. You will find the same link formatted to be pasted into a website or as a pop-up in the fields below.


5. Once you have finished distributing the survey, you can go back to the ‘Manage Surveys’ page by clicking Survey List.

Some faculties send out a separate survey to all the students taking courses at the faculty.

Analysing the results #

The results of the survey once it has been completed by the students are stored on a survey. Here’s how to access the results:

1. Go back to Manage Surveys by clicking Surveys on the top of the page.

2. On the Manage Surveys page, click Analyze (the icon is a small, blue bar chart).


3. You will be directed to a page with the title Analyze.

4. The results can be found by clicking Result overview.

5. Create a printable file by clicking Print Overview on the top of the page. Print the file as usual.

The faculties who distribute a collection of surveys will distribute the results to the course responsible.

‘Analyze’ is a fairly simple tool that mainly presents the results by the frequency of each answer to each question.

If you want to used more advanced analysis tools, click Export data to SPSS or Excel on the Analyze page.

Using SPSS for advanced analysis #

SVT-IT has its own system for exporting the data in SPSS format which for most intents and purposes will give a better file to work with that the other export options in SelectSurvey.

The following guide describes how to extract data into an SPSS data file. This assumes that you have SPSS/PASW v.16 or higher on your machine.

  1. Log in to SelectSurvey
  2. On the Survey page, click Analyze to the right of your survey (a small, blue bar chart). You will be directed to a page titled Analyze.
  3. Click on ‘Export data to SPSS or Excel (NTNU)’ (to the upper right in the ‘Report’ list). You will be directed to a page titled ‘Export Data’.
  4. In the field SPSS version 16 (or newer), you will see a link called —> SPSS file (.sps). Click this link. A box title File Download will pop up.
  5. In the File Download box there are 3 buttons: Open, Save and Cancel. Click Open. This will open the file in SPSS (or PASW as it is called in some version). It can take some time to start SPSS, so don’t be impatient.
  6. The file will be opened in a ‘syntax window’. What you see in the syntax window is not data, but lines of text starting with DATA LIST FREE (“;”). This is normal.
  7. Go to the menu in the syntax window and select Run - All. This will lead to the data appearing in the SPSS data window (data matrix). This window has two viewing modes that can be selected to the bottom left of the page in ‘Data view’ (the data matrix with one response per row) and ‘Variable view’, which displays the different data variables.
  8. Make sure that the data window (data matrix) is in focus or active if this hasn’t happened automatically. Choose File - Save As and give your file a suitable name. This is your datafile.

The steps of SPSS v. 15 or older are similar to this, but in this case there are two files, the syntax file and the raw data file, which both need to be saved on your own computer (Save in step 5 above). Then the syntax can be opened and run as described in step 8.

Displacements in the data #

If you have followed the guidelines for v. 16 or newer above, it’s important that you check that the data hasn’t been displaced. This can happened if you have open questions in you survey.

Check this by looking at the variable v00, which contains an ID number the respondents receive from SelectSurvey. The variable should contain a unique number (five or six digits) in all rows. If something else appears in variable v00, such as a smaller number or SYSMIS (just a dot), you have displacement in your data.

You then need to extract the data again, with the method for v. 15 or older. This method is more thorough, and usually fixes the problem of displacement in the data.

Help #

If you need help extracting data, or for more advanced functionality in SelectSurvey, contact orakel@ntnu.no

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