Best Practices for Surveys
Bucknell University licenses two survey tools for academic and administrative use: Google Forms and Qualtrics.
When you are creating a survey, keep these three questions in mind:
- Will people be willing to take this survey?
- Will the survey gather the data I need?
- Will I be able to analyze the results?
Important principles for Surveys
- Surveys that include Research on Human Subjects must be reviewed by the Institutional Research Board.
- Surveys should not contain questions that attempt to collect prohibited Personally Identifiable Information (PII).
- The survey should have a clearly defined and communicated goal.
- The survey should communicate who is asking the questions and how the answers will be used.
- The survey should have a clear deadline.
- The survey should have a clearly defined audience.
- Identify an effective manner to deliver the survey to the audience.
- Each question should contain only one question.
- All questions should be objective.
- Required questions should be limited. Verification (mandatory) questions should be used only when essential to the success of the survey.
- Answers should include all possible and appropriate answers.
- Answers should use a standard rating, ranking, or other answer set whenever possible.
- All answers should be objective.
- Questions and answers should avoid jargon and undefined abbreviations.
- Most questions should be multiple choice; text entry questions should be limited.
- The questions should gather the data required for analysis.
- Answers must be in a format that can be analyzed.
- Survey should be short and concise.
- The survey should use logic to display relevant questions. Questions should incorporate previous answers or known information.
- Survey must be tested by trusted testers before it is distributed.
- Survey must be tested by Qualtrics.
- Sample answers must be reviewed to confirm that they gather necessary information in a format that can be analyzed.
A survey will fail if…
People are unwilling to complete the survey and submit their answers
- Survey too long
- Survey too personal
- Survey questions unclear
- Survey answers are missing or unclear
- Survey has too many required questions
- Survey asks the same questions more than once
- Survey does not use logic to present relevant questions
The survey does not gather necessary data
- Survey does not ask an essential question
- Survey does not require respondents to answer questions that are essential
The survey responses cannot be analyzed
- Too many text entry questions
- Inappropriate text entry questions
- Poorly formatted answer sets
For additional information or assistance, please contact the Tech Desk at 570.577.7777 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keywords: evaluation, forms,Google+, Qualtrics,survey