Survey Students in Preparation for Distance Delivery

AOI | Learning Innovations
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Survey Students in Preparation for Distance Delivery

At the beginning of the semester, survey your students to help identify what your students have access to and any potential issues (or benefits) with running your class virtually. For instance, do they have all the necessary technical requirements? Are students able to engage in your class without distraction? Knowing your audience and their capabilities in the virtual environment will allow you to define expectations for your class and to accommodate to any special circumstances.

For future semesters, many of these questions are still applicable even when not teaching virtually. Feel free to adjust to your needs.

Sample Questions

Below, there are sample questions that you can copy/paste into your own survey. Microsoft Forms, Blackboard quizzes (with no points associated), or Qualtrics are great ways to get this information from your students. There are questions regarding technology and learning environment. In addition, this may also be a great method of inquiring about students’ interests (academically and professionally).


This section will address the environment in which you plan on joining class from.

  1. Visit the Technical Requirements page in order to accurately answer the following questions about what technologies are available to you.
    1. Select Check your Computer; did you pass all items?
    2. Perform the internet speed test. Did you score at least 3 Mbps download and 3 mbps upload?
    3. Do you have access to reliable and consistent internet? (reliable and consistent = see question above for speed test)
  2. How would you rate your confidence level with navigating Blackboard?
  3. How would you rate your confidence level with attending and navigating Zoom calls?
  4. Which of the following do you have access to this semester on a consistent basis? Chose all that apply.
    1. Cell phone with text and internet access
    2. Cell phone with text only
    3. Laptop (Mac)
    4. Laptop with touchscreen (Mac)
    5. Laptop (PC)
    6. Laptop with touchscreen (PC)
    7. Chromebook
    8. Chromebook with touchscreen
    9. Tablet
    10. Printer
    11. Webcam and microphone

Your Learning Environment

This section will address the environment in which you plan on joining class from.

  1. Do you have a location in which you can consistently join class with minimal distraction?
  2. In class, we may have some difficult dialogues; do you have a location in which you can engage in these types of conversations openly?
  3. In class, there are select times in which it will be required to have your camera on (small groups and during presentations, for example). Do you have a location in which your background will be professional (see syllabus for definition) with or without a Zoom virtual background? I would suggest testing your background from where you plan on joining class.
  4. Will you be able to unmute with minimal background noises?


  1. Do you have any concerns with our virtual semester (i.e. age of tech, background noises from roommates or children, consistent internet, etc.)?
  2. When would you be available for student hours to attend via Zoom and ask your instructor questions? Select all days and times that would work.
  3. What topic do you find the most interesting in this class this semester?

After the survey (What’s next?)

Once you can review the survey data, identify any potential issues and contact those students directly to resolve. Be sure to send resources to students that can help resolve some issues such as the Computer Loan Program, WiFi Hotspot Program, and the Washington State Drive-In WiFi Hotspots Location Finder.

This series of videos and teaching tips is presented by Academic Outreach and Innovation (AOI). We invite you to join the conversation. Share your tips and ask questions through this blog. If you would like these posts to be sent directly to your email each week, subscribe to the listserv by emailing

For more information or to schedule time with an instructional designer or emerging technologist, contact or request training on demand. You can also visit the Spark Faculty Innovation Studio in room 102 any time from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Thursday, during the academic year.