How To Average Results from a Student Survey

Filling in a survey questionnaire

Student surveys provide a lot of information that campus administrators can learn from. School programs and services can be improved, maintained, or abolished through student feedback. The student's attitude towards these programs and services can be gauged by averaging the results from the survey. Here's how to average these results.

  1. Objectives and Goals
    Before setting out on distributing student surveys, the objectives and goals for conducting a survey must be clear. The student survey must be purposeful and should acquire specific responses from students about specific school programs or services. The questions or statements have to address specific aspects of the school program or service to meet the survey's objective. If the survey is well designed to persuade honest answers from students then the survey will achieve the best results. Answer options can be designed with a “Yes” or “No” option or they can tick off different levels of “Agree” or “Disagree” options.
  2. Average Results
    After all the survey questionnaires have been filled and returned, the results can now be tabulated and an average for each question or statement can be acquired. The average is also sometimes called “mean” which is the total of all the entries. To get the average from the student survey results, each answer must be added and the sum should be divided by the total number of student forms that were distributed and this should reveal the average number of respondents who answered a certain way.

    On a survey question that provides levels of satisfaction, respondents can answer with numeric values according to how satisfied they are. Values are provided from the lowest level of dissatisfaction to the highest level of satisfaction. For example if the survey question was “How satisfied are you with the cafeteria food?”, students can answer with values from 1 to 10. After the survey has been gathered, the values will be totaled and the sum will be divided by the number of survey forms distributed. If five forms were given and returned values of 2, 2, 5, 5 and 3 the sum would be 17 and then dividing that by 5 will get you an average satisfaction rating of 3.4 which then tells you that students are not satisfied with the cafeteria food.    

  3. Express the Average as a Percentage
    Take for example a question in the survey that wants to measure the student satisfaction levels of campus cafeteria food, so a simple question could be asked such as; “Do you think the food served in the campus cafeteria is healthy?”, answer options can be represented with a tick on “Yes” or “No.” Out of fifty students who were given survey forms, about 45 students answered “No” and the remaining 5 answered “Yes.”

Utilizing numeric values is a simple way for respondents to rate questions or statements and would be easier to average the results at the end of the survey.


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