Blackboard is an electronic course management tool that enables faculty and students (users) to communicate and collaborate online through real-time chat forums, asynchronous discussion boards, e-mail, and online file exchanges. The software also features an online grade book and survey/quizzing tool.
With Blackboard's Survey Manager, you can create instructional technology assessments. Although a survey response is not linked to a specific student, surveys are not strictly anonymous because instructors can view a record showing which students have completed them. Compare Blackboard with other electronic survey tools.
Suggested uses of Blackboard surveys:
- Gaining anonymous feedback and insight into student attitudes, satisfaction, and outcomes about the instructional technology throughout a semester.
- Measuring the effects of an instructional technology when used as part of a single-group experiment.
- Well-suited to courses already using Blackboard.
- Works especially well for large classes.
Limitations of Blackboard surveys:
- Can only be used to survey students enrolled in a course
- Not suitable for collecting in-depth information.
- Requires some knowledge or understanding of relevant issues in order to write appropriate questions and properly organize a survey.
- Respondents must have UT EID and be enrolled in the course.
- Electronic surveys generally have lower response rates than paper surveys.
A moderate level of knowledge about instrument design and writing survey questions is required unless you are using previously validated questions or survey instruments. Also, training or experience in using Blackboard is recommended. Students must have access to computers as well as to the course Blackboard site. [more]
Plan your Blackboard survey
STEP 1. Describe the instructional technology and context
Include the purpose of the instructional technology: the need it addresses, its expected effects, current resources, and resources needed to implement. Describe the users (education, motivation, skill levels), learning objectives in relation to the technology, and the learning context. A worksheet is available to help you through this step.
STEP 2. Identify stakeholder needs and develop central questions
Central questions [glossary] identify what you and the stakeholders would want to learn through the survey. For example, "What features do instructors like about webcasting?" A worksheet is available to help you identify stakeholder needs and develop central questions.
STEP 3. Determine the purpose of the survey
A survey should have a clear purpose and focus. Avoid the temptation of asking too many questions in a single survey or surveying students "just to see what's going on." Using your central questions as a guide, specify how your survey will help you gain insight, change course practices, or measure the effects of the instructional technology. A worksheet is available to help you develop and refine your study’s purposes.
STEP 4. Determine how you will use the results
How you intend to use results should also guide the content of your survey. If the answer to a survey question will not assist your instructional technology assessment, leave the question out. A worksheet is available to help exemplify how to use results after determining the purpose of a study.
STEP 5. Create the survey
Selecting Tutorials, then Using the Assessment Tool under For Instructors and TA´s, and then Creating a Survey connects you to step-by-step instructions on how to create a survey.
Write survey questions
Writing good survey questions is crucial to avoid compromising the validity of responses and limiting your ability to answer research questions. Rewrite questions until they are clear and succinct. [more]
Determine question type
Go to Blackboard's tutorial for further information about using Blackboard.
Organize and format the survey
An improperly formatted survey may confuse students and cause them to skip questions or not complete the survey at all. Limit your survey to 30 questions maximum so it does not become tedious. [more]
Editing the survey
Once you have created a survey, you can edit it by clicking on Survey Manager and selecting the Modify button. You can edit the text of a question or remove the question, but you cannot change the question type unless you write a new question.
Babbie, E.R. (1973). Survey research methods. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing Company.