Utilizing Data to Empower Creative and Inclusive Teaching Strategies - Rethinking Survey Tools for Innovative Learning Environments

Concurrent Session 6

Brief Abstract

How might we reconsider the use of survey tools in course design? How can real-time data inform responsive and inclusive teaching? This workshop explores examples of surveys reimagined for engaging activities and innovative learning paths. Participants will complete design-thinking exercises to rethink how to implement survey tools in course design.


Zhuqing works on the learning design and technologies team as an online course coordinator, supporting projects related to the Initiative on Technology-Enhanced Learning (ITEL), including GeorgetownX. In her current role, she coordinates with instructional designers and faculty on developing and building out online courses across all disciplines on Canvas and edX. She also works on researching, testing, and implementing innovative educational tools in an online learning space.

Additional Authors

Sarah Chamberlain is a Program Manager for instructional design and content development for the College Excellence Program at The Aspen Institute. Previously, Sarah worked at the Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship at Georgetown University. She has supported faculty and subject matter experts in translating courses for an online environment in both higher education and the healthcare industry. She's particularly interested in using educational technologies for social good. Sarah is passionate about using learning design to empower the change-makers and leaders of tomorrow's world.

Extended Abstract

Teaching creatively with digital technologies involves using Information Communication Technology (ICT) resources to support innovation in new learning environments (Loveless, 2002). In addition to Learning Management Systems (LMS), other platforms or products, such as survey tools, can expand the learning space and support flexible learning environments. This session explores how survey tools can be used to create such innovative learning environments.

Survey tools are typically used outside the classroom, and are rarely used for in-class activities and communication. (Collis and van der Wende, 2002). However, survey tools offer a great range of question types and real-time data visualizations which can be used for designing low-stake learning activities and interactive learning experiences. Real-time data collected from survey tools can also be used to inform teaching decisions and strategies in the classroom, such as dictating topics of a lecture, adapting course material to students’ learning preferences, and providing alternative assessment and evaluation methods.

This session will demonstrate multiple creative uses of surveys built in Qualtrics, a cloud-based survey tool. These examples illustrate how certain features of survey tools, like automatic data visualization, impacts course design and promotes innovative learning environments. Participants will work through design-thinking handouts and templates to think about how courses can be redesigned through the creative use of survey tools. This session will redefine the use of survey tools, relate data insights to the (re)design of a course, workshop, or research, and raise awareness of how data can support inclusive teaching strategies and innovative learning environments.

Proposed Workshop Agenda:

  • Participants respond to an online/mobile survey (no login required).

  • A brief introduction of common survey tools and their typical use in higher education.

  • A review of the real-time data visualization of responses from the session survey.  

  • Explore Case Studies and Design-Thinking Activities: An examination of case studies covering course sequencing, adaptive learning, customized learning paths, and using a survey tool as a learning management system.

  • Participants will complete design-thinking exercises after each case study, encouraging participants to reconsider and apply new design ideas to their own courses or home institutions.

  • Participant Take-Away: Participants will share the results of the design-thinking exercises.

  • Q and A