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 1 st and 3 rd mailings (cover letter, questionnaire, envelope with stamp) Send reminder cards on 2 nd and 4 th mailings E-mails or Cover letters are different: 1 st thorough content 2 nd gentle and friendly reminder 3 rd emphasize confidentiality and stress importance 4 th 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
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