Survey Guidelines

The intention of this document is to provide survey guidelines for the college community in order to support a culture of inquiry and assist in gathering meaningful information.

  • Create a purpose statement.
    • What is the goal: Gather opinion? Facilitate change? Part of a larger research project?
    • What is the key piece of information to elicit?
    • What question are you trying to answer?
  • Create an impact statement.
    • Who is the population of interest?
    • What potential decisions will be affected by the survey results?  
  • Determine your best tool for gathering information.
    • Is a survey necessary? Can you gather the information via an interview, through data analysis, or by existing research?
  • Determine if you need an informal poll/survey or formal survey.
    • Informal: a short informal question or questionnaire to be used for your own use or work unit purposes. (For example, you would like to know about current or prospective projects within your work area).
    • Formal: A survey that will infer an opinion/demographic/characteristic from the larger campus population. (For example: Please select your level of satisfaction regarding project turn-around time in the Institutional Research Office: 5 – very satisfied through 1 –very unsatisfied)
  • Ensure survey reliability and validity.
    • Enlist a colleague/professional peer with survey design experience to assist with poll or survey creation or for peer review of your work.
    • Which group/committee/council from the SPSCC Shared Governance Model supports the administration of the survey?
    • Who will analyze the results?
    • Distribution of results and communication
      • Informal: results are used within an internal work unit or for general information
      • Formal: Results are communicated within the governance structure
  • Key points of consideration to conduct an ethical survey.