Surveys make a monkey out of me

As part of TMA03 we were asked to create a survey. I’ve created a couple paper-based ones in the past but decided – as I’m doing a Technology degree – that I’d show a bit of initiative and use IT! I opted for SurveyMonkey who provide a free web based service for creating basic online surveys. You can create more complex surveys if you’re prepared to stump-up $16.67 (£10) per month!

Creating a survey with the free tool is a relatively straight forward affair. You’re allowed up to 10 questions and there is a good selection of types to choose from. So you can mix-and-match on multiple choice, single text boxes, ratings etc. You can even apply a touch of colour with in-built themes.

Anyway having set-up my ICT survey in readiness for my End of Course Assessment (ECA) – I decided to create another one in support of a professional development activity in Block 3 of the course. I’m so glad that I did – because I clearly didn’t understand the terminology of ‘collect survey’. To me this meant collect-up your responses. I discovered yesterday that it doesn’t mean this at all. Collect survey actually means run your survey! So having asked a variety of friends, family and colleagues to complete it – I have no data. No responses, zilch, zero. I suppose I should have followed-up on the one comment I received from a respondent, that when they clicked ‘done’ it didn’t seem to ‘go anywhere’ – but as online surveys are new to me I chose to ignore it – thinking that’s how it worked. WRONG!

Anyway I’m mighty glad I discovered this little ‘problemo’ before the ECA. It would have been massively embarrassing to send out incorrect links to all staff, have people complete ‘non-surveys’ and then have absolutely no results to show – and no data for my assignment.

And so what have I learned? I have learned it’s a good idea to read the help text or run through the tutorial first. Also, to double check the meaning of the terms used. Simple stuff really – an ape could do it!


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