Thursday, July 16, 2015

5 reasons Moodle's Feedback module is better than SurveyMonkey for online courses

If you run an online course on Moodle, you probably collect feedback from the students and maybe the teachers too.

SurveyMonkey is a popular tool to set up surveys and feedback forms. And there are other tools that do a similar job. They give you so many options for creating questions and collecting responses that it's easy to think of them as superior to Moodle's relatively humble Feedback module. This doesn't seem to be something that Moodle developers are very proud of, as it's not even enabled by default on a Moodle site! If you've used it, you might have wondered -- Why does the form look so bare? Why can't there be a few more question types?

So why should you use Moodle's Feedback module instead of SurveyMonkey or something else?

Here's why:
  1. You can keep the feedback form anonymous and yet know who has filled out the feedback form and who hasn’t, using the Activity Completion report. This is useful to determine course completion in cases where giving feedback is mandatory. Also, when you make the form anonymous, the message "Mode: Anonymous" appears right on top of the form, which should reassure respondents.
  2. How many times have you wished you could quickly figure out who didn't respond to your survey? When you use Moodle Feedback as a teacher you can see a list of non-respondents, select some or all of them, and send a message -- all from the same page!  
  3. When a feedback form is spread over multiple pages, the respondent’s answers are saved from one page to the next. You can set up a similar feature on SurveyMonkey but it seems a bit complicated.
  4. You can set up email alerts to be sent to the course teachers when the form is filled out each time. On SurveyMonkey, "Survey Alerts can only be sent to the main email address on the account." Bah.
  5. Keeping the feedback form on the same learning platform as the course makes the form look like an integral part of the course and not a pesky extra activity.
Have you enabled and used the Feedback module in your Moodle? You should!

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