Surveys and Indirect Measures

Indirect Measures

Indirect measures capture students’ perceptions of their learning experiences, attitudes about the learning process, and opinions about their learning relative to the learning goals. Surveys are a good example of an indirect measure and are often used to gather information about student satisfaction levels, or to ask students how much they think they have learned. Indirect measures coupled with direct measures can often provide a more holistic and richer understanding of the learning experience, and how and what students are learning.

Academic program- or course- level examples of indirect measures include:

  • Student surveys including formative questionnaires and course evaluations
  • Focus groups or other feedback forums
  • Graduate student exit interviews
  • Alumni or employer surveys
  • Curriculum and syllabi analysis
  • External review processes

Institutional Student Surveys

Course evaluation surveys are administered across campus and support instructors interested in students’ feedback about the course and their learning at the course-level. Learning outcomes from courses can be mapped to program and institutional learning outcomes.

Academic Planning and Institutional Research (APIR) also conducts and analyzes several surveys and questionnaires related to the student experience. Data from these surveys may support program assessment plans. The surveys and questionnaires include:

The Office of Academic Analysis, Planning and Assessment plays an active role in the evaluation and data collection efforts within the Graduate School. Data from master’s and doctoral degree surveys may support program assessment planning. Find more information about PhD and Master’s Exit Surveys.

Other UW-Madison Survey Examples

Alumni Surveys

Employer Surveys

Exit Surveys