6-steps in conducting a survey
1.What do you need to know from a survey?
- What questions do you need answered?
- Is there existing data/information that will answer your questions?
- What is/are the survey outcomes?
- Is the survey part of a research project?
- Will you need approval from Mohawk College's Research Ethics Board? Other institutions' Research Ethics Boards?
2. Who are your survey participants?
Post-secondary day programs (PSE)
Continuing Education (CE)
Pre-College programs (e.g., Academic Upgrading, City Schools, Dual Credit, etc.)
|Staff and Faculty||
CE program graduates/alumni
|Other Mohawk Stakeholders||
Mohawk Board of Governors
Mohawk clinical/practicum/placement site supervisors
Mohawk Program Advisory Boards
Graduates' Employers (internal purposes only)
|Do you need a sample or census?||
Do you need to survey everyone (census), or is a sample sufficient?
Random sample - randomly choosing who to survey from the population. Stratified random sample - randomly choosing who to survey based on characteristics of population, typically demographics.
More information about sampling, including how to determine sample size - Qualtrics - Determining Sample Size
3. Develop questions for a survey
|Questionnaire Design Examples and Guidelines||
|Survey Set-up||General survey link OR Targeted survey links (participant list)|
How are you protecting confidentiality?
Anonymous survey - collecting or using no identifying information
Confidential survey - collecting or using sensitive or identifying information to send out survey invitations, linking survey responses, etc. Do you need a consent form, personal privacy statements, etc.
Do you have security measures in place to protect confidentiality throughout the survey process? For example, e-mailing survey responses - encrypt or password protect file; Data Sharing Agreement - transferring data to a third party, etc.
|Participation Rate Tips||
4. Are you using an incentive?
|Questions to Determine Usage of Incentives||
Offering incentives to complete surveys can sometimes help to increase participation rates. The decision to offer an incentive must be made early in the planning process because the offer must be included in the invitation letter and all other communication with potential respondents. There are also important legal and administrative requirements to offering incentives. To determine whether an incentive will help, answer the following questions:
Would your survey response rate increase if there was an incentive?
Is the survey going out to a specific group or open to a large group?
What is the survey purpose?
Draw for gift card(s), electronics, etc.
Swag, product or cash given to all survey participants
|Collecting Personal Information for Incentive (e.g., ballot)||It is recommended that you create a "Ballot" Survey that collects personal contact information and is accessed via a survey link in the "Thank you" webpage that is displayed when you submit the survey. This ensures that any personal information is not linked to your survey responses, maintaining confidentiality and/or anonymity.|
5. Administration and communication of your survey
|Survey Blackout Periods||See re-occuring surveys website; or consult Mohawk's Institutional Research Department (IR)|
|Communicating to Survey Participants||
When communicating to survey participants, remember to include the following:
If you are e-mailing the participants, the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) should be followed.
6. Summarizing and analyzing survey results
|1) Create a summary report in online survey software (if applicable)|
2) Export survey responses to excel or statistical package (e.g., SPSS, SAS, Stata, R, etc.) for analysis. Check out links on right for more information on data analysis.
|3) Produce a report in word or excel (if required)|
|4) Create a presentation (e.g., PowerPoint) (if required)|