Surveys are a great way to collect information from your students. Insturctor and course evaluations are one way that surveys are commonly used at the conclusion of a course, but student feedback surveys can be helpful (more helpful!) during the progress of a course.
Surveys can be used to learn your students’ “baseline” on the course content. This can help you know where and how to start the course. Anonymous student surveys can also be used throughout the course to get “course and instructor” evaluations at a time when you can adjust if a problem is presented. I have done this type of mid-review in my courses for years and find that the students also appreciate the opportunity to express concerns at a time when THEY and THEIR LEARNING is the focus of the change action (as opposed to future courses).
Student surveys are commonly at the conclusion of a learning module. My 16-week courses generally have 5-6 learning modules. A survey with the following questions is helpful at the conclusion of each: What did you learn? What do you still need help on? Describe your effort? These reflection questions can reinforce learning and identify areas that are still unclear that may need to be addressed.
In most cases, I would use the Blackboard survey because it is linked to the Gradebook.