Learning Needs Survey

A Checklist for Students

Boy reading book at desk
Boy reading book at desk. Getty Images/JGI/Jamie Grill/Blend Images

Special education students have very individual learning needs, and benefit greatly from differentiated learning experiences. But finding out what those needs are can be a tough task for a single classroom teacher with many students. One of the best ways to understand more about the learning needs of your kids is to let them complete their own learning needs survey. This survey is basic enough for most students to complete easily, and can give teachers a number of insights.

What Can Teachers Learn from This Survey?

Differentiated instruction can help teachers address children who learn differently. Some children are visual learners and prefer to read lessons independently. Auditory listeners would rather listen to a teacher explain a lesson. Kinesthetic learners are most difficult to serve in typical school settings, as they learn best when incorporating movement into lessons. These students may need to move around, change desks, or manipulate objects during lessons.

What Can Students Learn from This Survey?

Most people learn through a combination of styles, although most will have a preference. When students discover the learning styles that work for them, it can defuse the anxiety around classwork and homework. In progressive settings, students and teachers can work together to discover learning situations that will work best for individuals. 

Learning Needs Survey

Here are some sample questions to ask all students:

Yes ___ No ___   During work time, I like to listen to music.

Yes ___ No ___   During work time I like it to be quiet.

Yes ___ No ___   I like working in small groups.

Yes ___ No ___   I like to work alone.

Yes ___ No ___   I like working in pairs and triads.

Yes ___ No ___   I like sitting in groups.

Yes ___ No ___   I like sitting near the door.

Yes ___ No ___   I like sitting near the window.

Yes ___ No ___   I like working on the computer.

Yes ___ No ___   I work better in the mornings.

Yes ___ No ___   I work better in the afternoons.

Yes ___ No ___   I like things being explained to me.

Yes ___ No ___   I prefer to read about how to do something.

Yes ___ No ___   I like having the same desk spot.

Yes ___ No ___   I prefer to change seating from time to time.

Yes ___ No ___   I enjoy speaking to the whole class.

Yes ___ No ___   I prefer not to speak to the whole class.


I study best when.....

When I don't finish something it's usually because......(I'm easily distracted, bored, need more help)

I enjoy class most when......

Print a classroom-ready pdf of this survey.