Free Web-Based Surveys Essay Sample
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Development of the internet has led to many applications that used to be made physically be made online. By being online, researchers can reach a large number of the targeted sample, in different geographic locations. Thus, a researcher in Europe can use an online survey to get certain information to people in America or even Asia, as long as the respondent has internet access. Researchers must incorporate several aspects into the survey to ensure the information obtained in the survey is relevant to research in question.
Surveys target several parties who have different characteristics. Therefore, it is critical that before the start of the survey the researcher determines target population that the survey targets (Moseley & Dessinger, 2010). Determination of the target population would help in determining the most efficient method of formulating the survey so that people can easily comprehend.
The questions that researchers pose significantly determine the responses of the target sample. Therefore, after determining the target population, the researchers should format the survey questions in a simple format. The questions should be short to enable the respondents give precise answers (Moseley & Dessinger, 2010). In addition, the survey should not have many open-ended questions (Bhaskaran & LeClaire, 2010). Many open-ended questions make respondents give skewed answers, which may be difficult to interpret.
How the researcher formulates the welcome screen determines whether the respondents will respond to the survey or not. Therefore, it researchers should use a user-friendly screen from the start of the screen that explains the simplicity of responding to the survey (Moseley & Dessinger, 2010). In some online surveys, – such as SurveyMonkey – one simply enters their email address of the respondents and they receive invitation messages to take part in the surveys (Rubin & Babbie, 2011). Simplicity of the survey questions would make people take part in the survey. On the other hand, complex surveys are not attractive to the respondents.
The format of research questions profoundly determines the responses they get. Therefore, it is critical that the research questions be consistent and flow. The flow of the questions would help in analyzing the answers from the research (Moseley & Dessinger, 2010). The consistency of the research questions would also help in detecting problems in the research (Fowler, 2002). Researcher should take time to design questions that systematically lead to answers that they want to get. To obtain the questions researchers should begin surveys with easy questions and gradually increase the complexity of the questions.
Prior to the real survey, the researchers should test the system that the online survey will use to determine problems within the system. The researchers should ensure that they resolve the problems they detect prior to the launching of the system (Moseley & Dessinger, 2010). Any glitches in the system would lead to failure in the online survey. This is despite the fact the researchers may have taken all the steps explained above to ensure efficiency of the survey.
Any project that an organization plans to implement must go through the pilot phase. The pilot phase is usually small scale success of the project in the pilot phase facilitates the implementation of the project in large scale. Therefore, the researchers should ensure that they initiate the online survey in the pilot phase. Pilot test survey with a small, but similar group of the sample would help in detecting certain patterns and problems in the online survey (Moseley & Dessinger, 2010). This would help the researchers formulate strategies to tackle the problem.
In online surveys, researchers send emails to the target population reminding them to participate in the online survey. The survey should not be a nuisance to the respondents. This would ensure that they respond to the questions. Therefore, the research should ensure that the survey has a few email reminders (Moseley & Dessinger, 2010). These would ensure that the respondents do not find the reminders to be a nuisance and consequently ensure that they respond to the survey questions.
Surveys are a necessity in almost all research. Technological advances have made use of online surveys the most efficient method of undertaking research. The major advantage of online surveys is the fact they reach a large of people regardless of their location (Petrick, 2009). Systematically use of implementation strategy explained above would improve the efficiency of the online survey. There are various ready-made survey programs at the disposal of researchers. Zoomerang is one of the most common online survey programs that researchers use. The ready-made programs ease the interpretation if data. They may provide data in charts or excel sheets. In addition, the researchers may customize the programs to their individual needs (Burden, 2010). Online programs incorporate the systematic steps explained above chapters to ensure efficiency of research.