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					Developing Surveys

        John C. Ory
      Chris Migotsky
Center for Teaching Excellence
         249 Armory
   3-3370 ory@uiuc.edu
        Know your….

Topic
Respondents
Costs
Time
Purpose
         Survey Examples

Annual Campus Senior Survey

Proposed General Education Survey
      From 40 Suggestions …..
About questions
• “Is this question worth asking?”
• Keep items short as possible
• Avoid double-barreled wording
  Rate the quality and value of the capstone
  course
• Focus response choices
  “Rate the quality of …” Use P-F-G-VG-EX
                  rather than
  “The capstone was excellent.” SD-D-A-SA
• Balance your scales
  m        m       m       m         m
 Poor     Fair    Good     VG     Excellent

• Decide on number of scale points
            4 or 5 or 6?
• Should you use “Neutral category” or “Don’t
  know”
• Place positive responses to right
     Poor=1, Fair=2, etc…
About survey
• Make the questionnaire “eye-appealing”
     professional with plenty of white space
• Group items into logically coherent sections

• Avoid putting important items at the end

• Do you need demographics?
               GETTING RESPONSES

Phase I: Getting their attention
• If your survey arrives in style, it may not get
  tossed in trash
• If your survey appears seductive, the respondent
  may be attracted
• If your survey appeals to a basic value,, it may get
  read.
• If your survey arrives at the right time, it has a
  chance of being completed
Phase II: Keeping their attention
• If the students know what it is for and why it is
  important, they may want to respond
• If you give them something for their effort, they
  may expend the effort to respond
• If it is easy to complete, it might get completed
• If you ask questions that “grab” students, you
  might get responses
Phase III: Getting their feedback
• If you keep it confidential, they may feel
  “safe” to respond
• If you make it easy to return, you might get
  it back
• If you follow-up, you even can get a better
  return rate
                E-mails and Cover Letters

•   Date letter or e-mail of the day it actually goes out
•   Use letterhead when possible
•   Personalize salutation
•   Explain purpose
•   Describe who is sponsoring
•   Provide name and phone for further info
•   Consider sending advance e-mail or letter
•   Consider other methods to publicize survey
• Explain how respondents were chosen
• Explain how and when to return survey
• Describe incentives
• Provide a realistic time required to complete
  survey
• Explain how the confidentiality of the respondent
  and data will be protected
• Identify deadline for returning
               How to get 75% Return
4 mailings 2 weeks apart      = 40+20+10+5

Send complete package on 1st and 3rd mailings
(cover letter, questionnaire, envelope with stamp)
Send reminder cards on 2nd and 4th mailings

E-mails or Cover letters are different:
1st   thorough content
2nd   gentle and friendly reminder
3rd   emphasize confidentiality and stress importance
4th   set a final deadline
 A handy campus tool for developing
         electronic surveys -

Public Affairs’ Web Services Toolbox

    Presented by Chris Migotsky
   Web Surveys in the Toolbox
http://www.webservices.uiuc.edu




 Info
Main Toolbox Page
       Let’s Create a Survey!
Web Services Toolbox
http://www.webservices.uiuc.edu/

Other web survey tools
  – Survey Monkey
  – Snap Surveys
  – Zoomerang

				
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posted:9/9/2012
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