Soliciting learner feedback: "How's our online class going for you?"

Hello colleagues, I am learning that "reading the room" in an online class is not the same as when class is in person. As noted in this brief Edutopia video, being sure that learners are "getting it" has some distinct differences when we are teaching online.

It is recommended that teachers survey learners regularly to give them the opportunity to share what's working for them and what may not be working. What questions would you include in this kind of survey?

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with our community!

Take care, Susan Finn Miller

Moderator, English Language Acquisition CoP


Susan, thanks for this reminder. I think that teachers intuitively know this (harder to read a room in a virtual setting), but may forget to regularly follow up for feedback from learners to clarify how make learning more comfortable and accessible in our "new normal" format (at least I forgot!).

I liked the questions that they used in the video, but I imagine that I might want to tweak the language for English Language learners, especially beginner level students. I wonder if even just initially asking yes no questions might be effective and revealing. For example: "Can you hear the teacher in online class? Y/N  Can you hear students in online class? Y/N Can you get into class okay? Y/N Do you have problems with your wifi sometimes? Y/N etc etc" 

I also think it might be interesting to ask students how they're confidence and understanding of digital skills has potentially changed during this time. Anecdotally, I feel like my students have improved and gained confidence, but it would be interesting to hear what their own assessment of their tech skills is after coming to online class for 6, going on 7 months now. 

I'd also like to ask them if there are new things they're interested in trying now if they indeed feel more comfortable and confident navigating learning online. 

Interested to hear others' thoughts about assessment and feedback in our virtual classrooms!


Thanks for introducing this topic!


Hello Susan and Sara,

This is a great topic. Here are my thoughts and questions on this topic: Frequent surveying of your students in a virtual learning environment: From one- or two-question polls, to formative assessments.

How to survey:

  1. In synchronous teaching, orally ask questions and ask students to respond with “raised hands” or yes/no in the chat feature, or
  2. Use a survey app

Any other suggestions for surveying students?

Regarding survey apps, I wonder if anyone has experience using any of those below with adult learners in a virtual/remote learning environment. If so, please tell us which one(s) you like (or suggest others) and tell us why you like them.

David J. Rosen