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Smart Survey Design

B. Pros and Cons of Online Surveys

Pros of Online Survey Design:

  • Same strengths as a paper version

  • Better at addressing sensitive issues

  • Cost efficient

  • Faster delivery

  • Endless design options

  • Dynamic

  • Ability to track

  • Quick response time

  • Easier to use for skip logic

  • Randomization of answer choices

Cons of Online Survey Design:

  • Spam/Privacy concerns

  • Technical issues

  • Submitting multiple submissions

  • No interviewer present to clarify questions or issues

Pros of Online Surveys:

There are many advantages of using web-based surveys compared to traditional mail or face to face methods. Web-based surveys have the same strength as paper versions in that they allow respondents to take their own time to complete the survey. If it is administered anonymously then online surveys may be better at addressing sensitive questions, because an interviewer is not present asking the questions directly (Brace 2004, 38-39). Email is less expensive and it brings an end to the slower mail process. It is also a faster transmission of the survey itself to the participants, and the results come back faster to you, the researcher. In addition, web-based surveys are sometimes seen as “environmentally friendly” due to the online format’s non-use of paper (Yun, G.W. and Trumbo, C.W 2006).

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