We are starting a series of articles created for students who are looking for an online survey and questionnaire tool for their dissertations.
While planning your survey you can select from multiple research techniques. Each one can be the subject of a separate article. In this article, we will focus on CAWI (Computer-Assisted Web Interview).
Thanks to Internet and survey tools development (like SurveyLab) CAWI is gaining popularity not only among students but also among big organizations and corporations.
The most important advantages of CAWI are low cost of the research, a clear process that is easy to control, and short time needed to create a survey and collect responses.
How to start – research goal
Before you start work on your questionnaire design, define the goal you want to accomplish. It may occur that survey research is not the best way to do it.
It is always good to write your goal on a blank sheet of paper. It will help you to clarify your thoughts.
Define your target group. It means estimate how many responses you need to be able to start data analysis and what is your respondent profile (e.g. people living in big cities – over 200k citizens, that are active tourists – spend at least one weekend outside the city).
Now you can start work on your questionnaire. This phase is very important as questionnaire quality will impact survey results and report quality. There are a few rules you should follow :
- Remember that your respondents won't be able to ask you additional questions and you won't be able to provide additional explanations. Therefore your questionnaire should be clear and easy to understand.
- Your questionnaire and questions quality will impact report and survey results.
- Use easy-to-understand language, and avoid technical jargon, slang, or abbreviations.
- Don't try to add every question to your survey. Ask yourself if you need each question that has been added.
- Your questionnaire should be logical, which means questions should be grouped by subjects.
- Don't forget about statistical and demographic questions. It will help you to analyze your database using such criteria as gender, age, city, occupation, …
- Test your questionnaire, send it to your friends, and test if the survey is clear and easy to complete.
Select the best date to start data collection. For example, December, 24 won't be the best idea to start data collection. Make sure that selected date is best for your target group.
SurveyLab was designed to make hard work for you. The system will automatically collect responses, aggregate them, and present them in a single report.
When selecting a survey tool make sure it will be able to export data in the format you need it. SurveyLab allows you to download survey results in CSV, Excel, or SPSS format.