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Surveys

A survey is an evaluation tool for collection of quantitative and/or qualitative information through a series of questions to individuals or groups of individuals.  Surveys can also be conducted through the use of personal observation, aerial maps, documents, and diagrams, etc.

Surveys can be administered in a number of ways, including:

    1. Mail survey
    2. Phone survey
    3. Online survey
    4. Group survey
    5. Individual interviews
    6. Observation/Content analysis (maps, groups, photos, etc.)

 Surveys are often used in evaluation practice.  The advantage of surveys is their relatively low cost and immediate feedback. 

The limitations of surveys includes the potential for poor question and survey design, self-report bias by participants, and limited response rates.

A credible survey requires thoughtful preparation to ensure the reliability and credibility of the data. 

Explore these key survey planning resources so that the results don't fall short of your expectations.

Survey Publications and Resources

Survey Methodology and Procedures:


Survey Design:

 Sampling:

  • Random Samples: How and Why (PDF) - Penn State Extension

    A two-page guide with steps for collecting a random sample of subjects for a survey or other types of studies.

  • Research Randomizer (for drawing random samples)

    This site is designed for faculty who want a quick way to generate random numbers or assign participants to experimental conditions. This service is part of Social Psychology Network and is fast, free, and runs with any recent web browser as long as Javascript is enabled.

Response Rate: