Urban planning community | #theplannerlife

+ Reply to thread
Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Developing useful surveys and questionaires

  1. #1
    Cyburbian MitchBaby's avatar
    Registered
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Posts
    179

    Developing useful surveys and questionaires

    Hey all,

    Just wondering if anyone can point me in the right direction for making useful Survey's and Questionaires. The City here hasn't been very good about these things in the past, so I'm trying to establish a new precident. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
    Mitchbaby: Proud to be a :canada: planner and a :canada: surfer

  2. #2
    Some general tips:

    If it is politically possible, try to do an actual random sample survey. A lot of times there is political pressure to send the survey to everyone so people can’t come in and say “I never had a voice in this” When you send out questionnaires to everyone, your results will skew towards those people who either say “don’t change a thing” or those who complain about everything. If you can do a survey you will get a far more accurate results. Try to follow up with a letter or phone call to encourage/remind them to

    As for survey design, make sure the questions don’t have any built in biases (unless you want them to of course ) Try to minimize open ended questions where respondents can write in whatever answers they want. They are hard to score/code and a pain to analyze. I would try to make any responses as either multiple choice or as a ratings scale from 1-5.
    "I'm a white male, age 18 to 49. Everyone listens to me, no matter how dumb my suggestions are."

    - Homer Simpson

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    The Cheese State
    Posts
    10,069
    Very good point on the sampling, Repo.

    It is too easy to include a bias in your questions, or in your interpretation. Get someone neutral outside of the organization to assist. Your best bet would be to get some help from a local university.

    I have a report in my files that reads somehing like "an overwhelming majority (59%) of people wanted..." and on the next question, "only a slight majority (58%) or respondents thought..." Neutral. Sure.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  4. #4
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
    Registered
    Jun 2003
    Location
    at the neighboring pub
    Posts
    5,786
    The K.I.S.S. theory definitely applies to citizen surveys. Try for the random sample if possible. A nearby city does an excellent survey that I will post a link to tomorrow (bastards redesigned their site so now I have to go find it).

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  5. #5
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
    Registered
    Jun 2003
    Location
    at the neighboring pub
    Posts
    5,786
    Here's the link to a community survey I mentioned in my previous post.

    CAUTION I am a PDF!!!

    San Marcos Community Outreach Survey

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  6. #6
    Cyburbian PlannerByDay's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2002
    Location
    In the bike lane
    Posts
    1,827
    If you are going to include questions on demographics put them towards the end. Some people will not answer them. If they are towards the front the respondant may just stop before they get to the rest of the questions. The one's that are important.

    If you can get them to fill out 80-90% of the survey before they decide to stop at eht demographic section, they are still likely to send the survey back.

    Also, If you are going to include demographic questions like Age, Income, etc. make sure you use the same ranges as the Census. That way you can compare the survey data with census data. For example, if you have an income range of $0- $19,999, you will have a difficult time comparing it with Census data because the Census reports income from $15,000 - $24,999


    Also Check out the website for SNAP it is a software we use to design and tabulate surveys.

  7. #7
    maudit anglais
    Registered
    May 1997
    Location
    Odd-a-wah
    Posts
    6,589
    I'm in the middle of doing a residential travel survey at the moment. Mailout survey targetting every household within a specific area. Typically get a 30% response rate. Let me know if you want any more information.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian MitchBaby's avatar
    Registered
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Posts
    179
    In the past here, the Survey's have all been open ended questions - and then when I arrived I was tasked with summarizing these 1000+ survey's in about a week. So now I'm trying to design a survey for a series of open houses that can be easily tabulated and formulated... any examples to be had?
    Mitchbaby: Proud to be a :canada: planner and a :canada: surfer

  9. #9
    maudit anglais
    Registered
    May 1997
    Location
    Odd-a-wah
    Posts
    6,589
    What are you trying to find out? I'm sure you could develop questions that let you gather information in a format that can easily be input into a database.

+ Reply to thread

More at Cyburbia

  1. Cities in Developing Countries
    Cities and Places
    Replies: 1
    Last post: 16 Apr 2014, 5:26 PM
  2. Developing cities in developing nations
    Economic and Community Development
    Replies: 4
    Last post: 16 Apr 2014, 5:20 PM
  3. Developing nations
    Student Commons
    Replies: 2
    Last post: 01 Mar 2011, 10:22 AM
  4. Replies: 3
    Last post: 13 Jul 2010, 1:26 PM
  5. Replies: 1
    Last post: 16 Oct 2008, 2:05 AM