What's the difference between confidential and anonymous surveys? Which type should we do?

Most schools and districts do confidential surveys since they allow for better response rate tracking and more advanced options to disaggregate results, while still ensuring the anonymity of respondents.

Confidential Surveys

Each student receives a unique survey link that gives access to his or her surveys. Confidential surveys allow us to disaggregate survey results by different variables, including ethnicity, gender, grade level, program enrollment, or other factors. Confidential surveys also give you the ability to track response rates and reach out directly to students who have not yet completed their surveys.

Anonymous Surveys

Anonymous surveys may make sense for you if you don’t have an up-to-date Student Information System (SIS). With anonymous surveys, we create a link for each survey subject (i.e. the school, the district, the teacher, etc.). For example, if students are taking surveys about their experiences with their school, each school will have a unique survey link and students at each school will complete their survey using the same link. Unlike confidential surveys, Panorama won’t have visibility into which students have and have not completed surveys which makes response rate tracking difficult. Since responses are not associated with individual students and, thus, cannot be associated with other factors for students, we recommend having students answer questions that allow them to self-report on demographic features like gender or grade level.

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