Piloting the Survey


  • To get feedback from a test group of students about the survey


  • Copies of the survey
  • Pens
  • Access to computers (if digital survey)
  • List of feedback questions

Prepare Before

You will need to find a group of students who can take the survey and give feedback.

Warm Up

Have the participants take the survey. Ask them to notice where they are confused, where they get bored, and where the survey is easy to complete.  Ask them to test out the buttons and options. As a group, share your experience and make any changes based on the survey.


What are we hoping to find out from this practice?

Select two participants who will give the introduction. The other participants will be around the room as observers and should notice where participants verbally and non-verbally express confusion, frustration, fun, etc.     

Go to your test subjects and begin to administer the survey.   Add to the introduction that you will be asking them questions about how easy or hard it was to take the survey after they complete it. When they take the survey, observe and take notes on what you see.

Have the test subjects split into small teams to be facilitated by a duo from your group.  You can either have all the groups go through the entire survey or assign each group a specific section of the survey.


Once the test subjects finish their survey, the pair asks:

Overall, in your own words, why do you think we are interested in this topic?  What do you think we are trying to do?

Using a thumbs-up, thumbs-down scale, answer:

  • This survey was easy to take
  • The questions were clear
  • The survey was too long
  • The survey asked too many personal questions

For each section ask:

  • Were there any questions that were confusing or unclear to you?
  • That seems like they had  “right” answer and a “wrong” answer?
  • That seemed too personal?
  • Are there words or concepts that should be clarified or simplified?

Thank your test subjects.


In your group, share feedback and notes.

Answer the same questions you asked the test audience above.

Based on the information we now have, what questions do we need to change? Are there questions we need to add? Anything to get rid of? What should we change about the introduction?


Get into groups and assign each group the questions that they will be revising. Once you have all revisions in, the entire group should review the survey.   If there were many changes, you will probably need to do another test audience.

Once you have a completed survey, set a day and time to meet with anyone who needs to approve the survey and who will be taking the survey.


What are our next steps?  What is our timeline to get survey responses?