Online course survey

What Questions Should Be Asked in an Online Course Survey

Josh Dunford

When you’re developing or teaching an online course, it’s important to get feedback from your students. But what survey questions should you be asking?

This post looks at some questions that should be asked within an online course evaluation survey so that teaching methods can be improved upon for other students moving forward.

We’ll outline some key areas to focus on when gathering information from your students. Including matters such as course materials, course structure, learning needs, technical support, and more.

In this blog, the Archy Team will go through the types of questions you should ask to get the useful feedback you need, as well as when is the best time to ask those survey questions.

Three main stages of a training evaluation survey

When an instructor puts together online course evaluation surveys, it is best that they categorise them into 3 distinct stages.

  • Before the course – Ask your students what they are hoping to learn and get out of your course.
  • During the course – Request feedback on their student learning experience, course workload, subject matter, and the quality of instructional materials.
  • After the course – Online course feedback on learning outcomes and satisfaction survey.

Many courses only ask instructor-specific survey questions at the end of the course structure, but having survey questions asked throughout the duration of the online courses will allow instructors to gather current and effective feedback for various stages of the student learning lifecycle.

These surveys can take various forms, such as multiple-choice, strongly agree / strongly disagree, or even open-ended questions as a way of collecting in-depth course evaluations.

Before taking the course

An Instructor should incorporate teaching evaluation questions before their students begin to take the course, so they know exactly what they are hoping to learn and achieve beforehand.

Ask questions such as:

  • What are your key learning objectives for this course?
  • How confident are you that the course will deliver on the learning objectives?
  • What are your motivations for taking the course?
  • At the end of the course, what do you hope to have achieved?
  • Which topics, in particular, are you hoping will be covered in the course?
  • What types of learning do you like best?
  • Which areas of this topic do you struggle with the most?
  • What are the biggest barriers to you achieving your learning goals?
  • Have you completed any other training in this field before taking this course?
  • How do you hope this course will improve on previous education experiences?

During the course

Throughout a course, it is important that the instructor checks in with their students to see how the course structure and course materials influence student learning (whether that be for better or worse).

An instructor can check-in by asking questions like the following:

  • Did the course material align with your expectations?
  • How would you rate the quality of the course content?
  • Did you find the course material engaging?
  • How satisfied were you with the variety of course content?
  • Did you find the course material easy to understand?
  • Was the course content detailed enough for your needs?
  • Has the course material been helpful?
  • Was the course material repetitive?
  • How satisfied were you with the methods of assessment?
  • What was missing from the course material?

After the Course

Once the students have completed the course objectives, the instructor and other faculty members can collect feedback via a course evaluation survey, in order to gather any useful feedback around the student’s experience and overall impressions with the teaching and course materials.

Using gamification elements throughout your courses, such as badges and rewards is a great way to give your learners a sense of achievement in their learning outcomes, and keep them motivated to finish.

An instructor should ask for feedback with questions similar to those listed below:

Try adding these questions to your survey:

  • Did you like that the course offered a certificate?
  • Were you satisfied with the quality of the certificate you’ve received?
  • Would earning a certificate or award help you to feel more committed to the course?
  • Did you share the certificate with colleagues?
  • How likely are you to share the certificate on social media?
  • How do you intend to use the certificate going forward?
  • Did you feel that the certificate improved your overall perception of the course?
  • How much did the course certificate influence your decision to take the course?
  • Would you prefer to take a course that offers a certificate over one that doesn’t?
  • Is there anything else that you would like to receive after completing the course?

An instructor should also enquire about learner satisfaction, and ensure that they learned everything that they were expecting to. Questions to ask are listed below:

  • Do you feel that you achieved your learning goals?
  • How satisfied were you with this course?
  • Did the course meet your expectations?
  • Is there anything that you were hoping to learn that wasn’t covered?
  • Do you feel like your skills have improved as a result of the course?
  • What did you enjoy most about the course?
  • What did you find most challenging about the course?
  • How could the learning experience be improved?
  • Would you consider taking another course on the same platform?
  • How likely are you to recommend the course to a friend?

An instructor can even ask students for quotes to post on their website, or even offer referral links and commissions for their students to share, so they feel incentivised to tell others about the course.

Great survey tools include SurveyMonkey, Google Forms, and Typeform.


Creating survey questions in order to receive constructive feedback throughout your online course is sure to get you the helpful feedback that you require, just be sure not to limit yourself to instructor-specific survey questions.

So, what do you think? Are there any other questions that should be asked in an online course evaluation survey?

Let us know in the comments below. In the meantime, be sure to check out some of our other blogs for more helpful tips and tricks on how to make the most of your online learning experience, and go ahead begin creating your own online course for free today.

Josh Dunford

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