Virtually Getting to Know Your Students

Sending a survey to students the first week of class can help you gather information about your students such as their interests, past experience with the material, or concerns about the course. Here is a brief beginning of the course survey you can adapt to your own course. Click the “Duplicate it” button at the top of the screen to copy the survey.  

We recommend reading through the questions and adding or removing questions to customize the survey for your course and your students.  

Additional questions to consider 

If you’d like to add additional questions, think carefully about what questions are actionable. 

  • You might want to know if students have reliable internet at home if you were considering holding synchronous sessions/office hours or you were thinking about how large to make your files.  

Do you expect to have reliable internet for the duration of this course? 

  1. Yes 

  2. No, my internet is not very reliable. (You might have trouble watching videos or uploading/downloading large files) 

  3. No, I do not have internet where I am living. 

  • You might want to know what kinds of devices students have available if you were considering assigning a project that includes students creating videos or asking students to submit long written assignments. 

What kind of device(s) do you have available that you could use to read, listen to, submit assignments, watch recorded course content, or participate in a video call [check boxes, can select multiple] 

  1. Computer 

  2. Tablet/iPad 

  3. Smartphone 

  4. Telephone without Internet Access

  5. Webcam 

  6. Earbuds or headset 

  7. Other: [enter text] 

  • You might want to know if your students are sharing any of their devices with other people if you were considering holding synchronous sessions/office hours. 

From the devices you listed above, are you sharing any of these with other people (meaning you don’t have access to them all day) 

  • You might want to know what time(s) of day students expect to be available to engage with course content if you were considering a group project or holding synchronous sessions/office hours. 

What time(s) of day do you expect to be available for engaging with course content (e.g., watching videos, listening to audio, attending live office hours)? Explain expected constraints in "Other" if desired. [check boxes, can select multiple] 

  1. Normal class time (in Eastern Standard Time) 

  2. Weekday mornings (in Eastern Standard Time) 

  3. Weekday afternoons (in Eastern Standard Time) 

  4. Weekday evenings (in Eastern Standard Time) 

  5. Weekends (in Eastern Standard Time) 

  6. Other[enter text] 

  • You might want to know about additional challenges your students are experiencing if you plan to reach out individually to students about available resources. If you have students who are struggling, whether for reasons of financial or mental health concerns, food scarcity, or concerns regarding their living situations, you can help them by completing a CARE Team Report. You can also advise students to submit a UC Student Emergency Fund application for $500 or less. If they need food support, they can email the which is supplying gift cards, both aided by donations. 

Do you have any concerns about accessing resources including basic needs (food, shelter, medical care), psychological care and counseling, or access to technology that you wish to share with me?  


You can access your Forms by going to, clicking the waffle menu in the upper left corner and clicking Forms. 

Waffle menu to open Microsoft Word

Once you open the Form, you can edit the questions under the Questions tab. You can access responses to your form by clicking the form to open it, and clicking the Responses tab. You can view results within Forms or Open the results in Excel.

Responses in Microsoft Forms