The educator or education leader analyzes survey data by preparing and analyzing the quantitative and open-ended responses to identify key findings or trends.
Before analyzing survey results, it is helpful to organize data in a systematic way. To analyze quantitative survey results more easily, convert variables to numeric formats and keep track of the codes. For example, gender responses could be recoded to 0 for “Male,” 1 for “Female,” and 3 for “Prefer not to say.” Be sure to create a code book where you note what the values mean.
Try to be consistent. On all agreement questions, for example, try to use low values for disagree and high values for agree, making it simpler when you analyze the data.
Survey analysis can involve measuring change in attitudes and behaviors from pre-post responses. Similar to measuring change using formative and summative assessments, calculate and compare the average response rates on the pre- and post-surveys. In cases with large, demographically diverse sample groups, try measuring changes for specific subgroups. Or, if there are students who regularly struggle in the subject area, closely examine their changes in attitudes and behaviors to see how the program, tool, or product affected them.
Most descriptive analysis is available in dashboard form when using free survey tools like SurveyMonkey or Google Form. When using tools other than these, Excel can be used to quickly analyze results. Use the “find and replace” feature to quickly convert string data to numbers. To learn more about using these tools, refer to the available resources.
To analyze open-ended responses, read through the responses to identify common themes. With a clear sense of the big ideas, list the themes that emerged. It is also important to note any responses in strong dissent with the common themes. Make sure to place value on all student voices when analyzing the data to inform decisions.
Review results from the analyses to identify key findings that can be used to determine whether the study goal was met, and to make evidence-based decisions for next steps. Focus on particular questions of interest in the survey to help narrow down the focus, and then address interesting findings, such as unexpected changes, responses, or trends. Be sure to consider all learners in this process, with a particular focus on students typically marginalized in their learning experiences and outcomes.
Review the study goal or research question. Which data are necessary to determine the success of the study or answer the research question? (Completing Part 1 before engaging with Part 2 will be beneficial to successfully completing this micro-credential.)
To earn this micro-credential, submit a report detailing the steps to prepare and analyze the survey results. Include the final, evidence-based recommendation for next steps. Use these questions as prompts:
After you analyzed the data, write a reflection that addresses the following:
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