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Answering Students Frequently Asked Questions Print or save as PDF

Frequently Asked Questions - Students

Typically, questions from students relate to the following:

  • What is the purpose of this survey?
  • Do I have to do this survey?
  • Is this a test?
  • Will anyone see my answers?
  • Why are the questions so personal?
  • Why do you want to know if I’m Aboriginal?
  • Why do you include questions that are unrelated to school?
  • Where do my answers go when I complete the survey?
  • What if I don’t understand a question?
  • Why is there no back button?
  • Why does the time bar jump?
  • Why do you ask the same questions each year?

1. What is the purpose of this survey?

This survey helps teachers and principals know students’ feelings towards school, any problems that may be occurring at the school, and ideas for making the school better. This is your chance to tell your teachers and school staff what you think.


2. Do I have to do this survey?

This survey is voluntary. Students are asked to participate to help make their school better. If you really do not want to participate, you do not have to. Also, if you start answering questions and you want to stop participating, you can choose to stop at any time. Finally, you can choose to skip or not answer any questions that you do not feel comfortable answering.


3. Is this a test?

No, this is not a test. There are no right or wrong answers. Nothing you say on this survey will ever be connected with you, your grades, or your performance in school. Your teachers, and school staff will never see your answers. Be honest, and be yourself, and that will help to make your school a better place!  


4. Will anyone see my answers?

This survey is completely private and confidential. Your teachers, school staff, friends, and parents will never know your answers. The answers for the entire year group or school are always combined and displayed together. If less than five students in a year or school answer a certain question, then the results for that question are not displayed.


5. Why are the questions so personal?

The survey asks some questions that may seem very personal or private, such as parents’ education. We ask these questions because they are important and are linked to student outcomes. It is important to remember that the survey is confidential, and no one at school will ever know your answers. If you are uncomfortable with responding, you can skip the question and move onto the next, or stop at any time. We are interested in the combined answers at the school level, and how students at your school respond. Answers to these questions help to give us information about your school community, and the types of backgrounds and families in your area. This helps us to understand which schools have the same types of students with similar backgrounds.


6. Why do you want to know if I’m Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander or an Immigrant?

The Tell Them From Me survey is a great chance for students’ to have their voices heard. Sometimes it is important to hear the concerns and thoughts of certain groups of students, such as students who are Aboriginal or who are Immigrants. We ask students if they belong to certain groups such as being Aboriginal or an Immigrant. Answering yes to these questions will help your school know what the concerns, feelings and thoughts are for students like you. However, we are also careful about protecting your identity. If you indicate that you are an Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander or an Immigrant it will not be possible for your teachers, principals or other school to identify your responses, your answers will always remain confidential.


7. Why do you include questions that are unrelated to school?

Some of the questions may seem unrelated to school, but actually all questions included in the Tell Them From Me survey can help tell us about students, their health, and their school outcomes. Even things that do not seem related to school at all can give us important information on how to help students to be successful at school. If you really want to know why any question is being asked, and you cannot find out from the person who coordinates this survey at your school, or from your principal, you are invited to ask us through your school, and we’ll do our best to explain.


8. Where do my answers go when I complete the survey?

Your answers to the survey questions are sent over a secure data line to The Learning Bar database server. Your answers are combined with the answers of other students in the same year and school. Information from this database is used to make reports for your school to look at, showing the combined answers of all the students in your school. These reports are used to show teachers and school staff how they can make your school better for students.


9. What if I don’t understand a question?

We try to make the questions easy to understand, so if you have trouble understanding a question, please tell your teacher or school staff member who is coordinating the survey. If you need help to answer a question, raise your hand and ask for assistance.


10. Why is there no back-button?

There is no back-button on the Tell Them From Me survey. This means that once you finish one page of the survey, you cannot go back to make changes to your earlier answers. This helps to protect your answers, so other students who use the same computer after you cannot use the back-button to see your answers. Also, this helps you to complete the survey on-time. This does mean that if you make a mistake you cannot go back and fix it. It’s important to be careful when you are doing the survey. But remember, this is not a test, and one or two mistakes will not make a big difference in the final results for the whole school.


11. Why does the time bar jump?

There is a time bar on the top of each page when you complete the survey. This shows how many questions you have left to complete on the survey. However, this bar does not move or go up after each question you finish, it goes up after each page that you finish. This means that the bar can go up a lot for one page that contains many questions, but might only go up a little for a page that contains only a few questions.

12. Why do you ask the same questions each year?

Students who have completed the Tell Them From Me survey multiple times in their school may notice that we ask the same questions. This is very useful, as we are able to see how students’ responses to the same questions change over time. You might think that we are just getting the same results to the same questions each year, but actually the same students can give very different results as they move up a year and have new teachers, or as new events happen in the school. Many principals and teachers use the results of the Tell Them From Me survey to make positive changes to the school. Asking the same questions each year helps to tell school staff if the changes they made to the school made an impact on how students feel about school. Asking the same questions each year helps us to track these changes over time.