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OU Surveys

Your Feedback Is ImportantA survey being completed in an informal setting

We genuinely want to be able to use student feedback to improve the student experience; for you in the future and also for students who will join the university one day. So, we would like to take this opportunity to encourage you to complete surveys that you receive.  We have seen our response rates fall over the years which limits what we can do with the results we receive. Each individual response we receive increases the confidence the module team/faculty can have in its results. If you've received an invitation and can spare a few minutes to take part in our surveys, your feedback would be very much appreciated. 

Help completing your survey

If you have been sent a survey to complete online and you're having problems, please leave us a voicemail on 01908 858853 if you have:

  • a disability or an additional requirement which makes it difficult for you to complete our questionnaire.
  • recently changed your email contact address and haven’t notified the Open University.

If you have a technical problem with the survey or want to learn more about the project, please contact us by email at

Qualtrics: Our Chosen Survey SystemAn example of a valid OU survey invitation

We use a web-based survey system called Qualtrics to distribute our ad-hoc surveys: our invitations come from and will always be OU-branded, include the contact details of the member of OU staff running the survey and give an introduction to the survey you are being invited to complete. If you're ever unsure about a survey you've received, please contact us with your PI number and a copy of the email, and we'd be happy to check for you. 

Surveys Run By the OU

These are our current large-scale surveys. You may also receive surveys from projects evaluating a range of diverse topics from your use of mobile technologies to your experiences of the OU library: if you have any queries about the validity of a survey you have received, please contact us. 

The Early Study Experience Survey

The Early Study Experience Survey is sent out to a sample of students in the first few weeks of their module. It helps us to understand what motivates students to join the OU, how they are settling in to their studies and whether there is anything more we could do to provide support in this crucial stage. 

The Internal Student Survey (ISS)

In 2022 we launched a new internal student survey to collect feedback on the Student Experience three times during your module. If you're registered as currently studying a module, you'll be sent a personalised email inviting you to take part in each survey, and this will go to your preferred OU email address. 

You'll be invited to take part in: 

  • An early module survey about your reasons for studying, how we are meeting your expectations so far, and which module resources have helped in supporting your learning - sent about a month into a standard module
  • A mid-module survey about your module content, tuition, assessment and feedback - sent roughly halfway through the module
  • An end-of-module survey reflecting on your learning more generally, your skills development so far and plans for your next steps - sent about a month before the end of a standard module. 

I want to take part in ISS, but I've not received an invitation

We take into account the contact options that you can set on your 'Your contact preferences' section of your student profile page: see the screenshot for an example - you can click the image to zoom in. 

If you've opted out of 'OU research' mailings by email, then we won't contact you by email about any research, including the ISS, until you 'opt in' to receive emails. Please note, this won't trigger any retrospective invitations: if you opt back in while you're still studying, your invitations will start from the next survey point, or if you're between modules, these will start to be sent out from the early survey when begin your next module. 

If you've checked your preferences, aren't opted out and still haven't received an invitation, do email us at with your PI number, and we'll look into that for you. 

Student Experience on a Module (SEaM) Survey

For all modules starting before February 2022, the SEaM Survey was the OU's main method for collecting feedback about the study experience on a module. SEaM was:  

  • an evaluation which asks students to provide feedback on their tutor and their wider module experience in one combined survey managed jointly by the Student Statistics and Survey Team in the Institute of Educational Technology and the AL Services Team in Student Services, on behalf of The Open University.
  • sent to all students who successfully studied and completed modules with tutor support circulated via email invitation (preferred email address) with an online link to the survey two or three weeks before the end of the module.

We have been collecting end of module survey data for many years, and this version has been in place since January 2013. The results are published to module teams every month, and reviewed by the university as a whole every year during our quality review process.

Careers Survey

If you have used the careers service, you may receive a survey asking about your experience of the career development interview, your careers advisor and the advice you have received. 

National Surveys Sent To OU Students

Image credit: Ikhlasul Amal via Flickr, shared under Creative Commons licence.

Contact us

If you would like to contact the team with any survey related queries, please send an email to: Surveys

Please do get in touch if you have any questions about student feedback, our surveys or how your data is used.

We usually aim to respond to all emails within two working days but this may be slower at particularly busy periods.