M35 - Survey

Keywords: questionnaire, learning

What is it?

The  survey is a course activity that provides a number of verified survey instruments, including COLLES (Constructivist On-Line Learning Environment Survey) and ATTLS (Attitudes to Thinking and Learning Survey), which have been found useful in assessing and stimulating learning in online environments. A third survey type is the Critical Incident survey , which asks students to reflect on critical moments that they remember from the course so both staff and students can learn about what is and what isn't working.

Why use it?

Tutors can use these to gather data from their students that will help them learn about their class and reflect on their own teaching.

The available surveys have been chosen as being particularly useful for evaluating online learning environments that use a constructivist pedagogy. They are useful to identify certain trends that may be happening among your participants.

Who can use it?

Course editors, including tutors and course administrators, can set up surveys.

Students can complete the surveys.

Before I start...

Decide which survey you would like to use.

Meeting the baseline

The  UCL E-Learning Baseline  suggests the following for  Quality Assurance :

  • 10.1 Students can evaluate the module anonymously, including its online elements, e.g. via an end-of-module questionnaire.
  • 10.2 All stakeholders, including tutors, administrators and support staff, can contribute to the module/programme evaluation, including its online elements, at regular intervals (e.g. yearly, or at major reviews).

How do I set one up?

  1. To add a survey to your course, turn on the edit mode  toggle in the top-right of your page.
  2. With the  edit mode  toggle on, choose the  + icon  to add items anywhere in a section. Simply click on the course page, in the section wherever you want to add your activity. This will open up the  activity chooser, allowing you to select your activity or resource. You can still add content from the bottom of any section, as you did in the previous version. To do so, click  add an activity or resource  to open the  activity chooser.
  3. Select survey.
  4. Give the survey a name.
  5. Select the type of survey you want to give from the dropdown list:
    1. The COLLES and ATTLS questions are five-point scales that range in responses from Almost Always to Almost Never. These results are reported in graphical form when you view them.
    2. The Critical Incidents survey is a free-response survey where students must type their answers. You can see what students have typed for each answer.
  6. You can enable  activity completion  for students to manually mark the chat as completed or for automatic marking based on conditions.
  7. Click save and display  to see the survey activity or  save and return to course  to save and return to the main course page.

Further help

Further guidance on Survey settings is available from Moodle Docs.

If you find any inaccurate or missing information you can even update this yourself (it's a communal wiki).

If you have a specific question about the tool please contact the Digital Education team.


Moodle surveys are not anonymous. While students cannot see each other's results, you can view each student's survey. There is no way to assure anonymity. If you are using these results for research, you must develop a scheme to download the data and assign participant numbers. You should also inform students of this limitation.

Examples and case studies


Questions & Answers

Further information