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Smart Survey Design

Interesting and good graphics are important elements in paper based surveys, but an online survey can truly present well laid out and visually pleasing survey designs. Web surveys can utilize colors, images, and hyperlinks. Web surveys are also dynamic, which means they can provide statistical results on an immediate basis. Our tool provides statistical results immediately in the Analyze section as soon as a respondent submits his/her survey. In addition, the actual response time of participants is fairly quick for online surveys that are delivered through email. Many people will answer the survey within few days of receiving the email invite, and in some cases you will see a large number of responses the day you send out the email invitation (Yun, G.W. and Trumbo, C.W 2006).

Another benefit of using email to collect responses is the ability to track your respondents. You, the researcher, can track who has or has not responded and who has declined. You can also track the email address or name associated with the individual survey response (Sheehan, K. 2001). Our tool offers this advantage through the use of the Email Invitation collector.

The online survey tool can administer skip logic techniques easier than a paper based survey. This is done by routing respondents automatically to a page of follow-up questions based on the answer choice they have selected. The logic is triggered in our tool when a respondent clicks the “Next” button on the bottom of the page.

A final advantage of using online surveys is the use of “randomized answer choices.” That is a premium feature for Professional subscribers in SurveyMonkey. Here the survey can pull up the answer choices in a randomized order every time the link is accessed by a new respondent. This may help in alleviating question choice bias, and to deter the case where a person is simply clicking the first answer choice for every question to quickly get through a survey.

Cons of Online Surveys:

We would like for you to be aware of the possible “cons” or issues that may arise from implementing an online survey. People may feel that emailed surveys raise ethical concerns and can be intrusive. Sending unsolicited emails (or too many emails) may invade a person’s privacy (Yun, G.W. and Trumbo, C.W., 2006). In response to this, we have established a very strong privacy policy, and an anti-spamming agreement is established when using the SurveyMonkey email to send out the invite messages.

To address the issue of intrusion, we have included the “opt out” or Remove Link field in the email message that is delivered by SurveyMonkey. When a respondent clicks on the remove link in an Email Invitation message, s/he is globally opted out of the lists in the subscriber’s account. The subscriber or account holder will not be able to add the opted

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