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** Updated June 2016 **
You just created a survey for your customers, members, employees, or students - that's great! Now comes the hard part: trying to get a lot of people to fill it out and give meaningful comments so you have valid and useful results. But since most people ignore surveys and those that bother filling them out often skip over important instructions, make rating errors, and write vague and unhelpful comments, what meaningful decisions can you really make from these misleading results?
Where do you go for answers? If you have a LOT of time or a LOT of money, you can do what most people do:
1. Search the Internet. Spend hours and days reading what works for other people - which leads to conflicting opinions and misleading answers.
2. Ask your colleagues. Everyone has an opinion, right? Ask enough people and you'll end up with many situation-specific answers that don't work for you and a lengthy survey that few people will fill out.
3. Call in the experts. Pay someone else to improve your survey - which costs $ and eats up your time. Frustrating because you know you could have done it yourself!
► Let me offer a far better alternative: Enroll in this course to get expert advice you can quickly apply yourself.
The Survey Doctor is here to give your survey a quick tune-up! Get out the survey you are working on and let me share research-tested solutions and insights that you can immediately apply to your survey items, scales, and instructions that will yield interpretable results to take correct action. In fact, these are the same tactics that I have used to improve surveys and evaluation forms created at 650 colleges, training organizations and Fortune 500 companies. But once you join the Udemy community you won't have to pay my fees or travel expenses! :)
Within a couple hours you will be able to:
This lecture answers the question "Is this course for me?" and describes the 3 areas of content in this course:
This lecture summarizes the 5 devastating errors discussed in detail in the next section. By identifying and removing these errors your surveys will draw attention, your response rates will increase, and your respondents (e.g., members, employees, customers, students) will provide richer and more meaningful feedback.
Surveys often ask us for feedback on things that can't be changed anyway. Here are some examples to avoid so as not to annoy or disappoint your target audience.
Surveys often ask us for answers that are already obvious or should be known. Here are some examples to avoid so as not to make your target audience feel like a number.
This video alone will give you huge results - how to generate meaningful honest and actionable feedback on your comment boxes.
A true Survey Ninja skill to learn! Even many experts make this error that causes their surveys to lose so much useful information. Here is how to identify and fix these errors.
Response rates plummet when you have too many purposes in the same survey. Here are alternatives to incorporate in your surveys.
Wow, you are in the top 10% of all survey creators and nearly a survey guru already! Here is a summary of all that you have learned so far.
This lecture summarizes the 5 "traps" that nearly all web-based survey tools unknowingly incorporate into their products. By choosing their defaults or not being careful, your response rates will be lower and your results less interpretable. Here is a summary of these traps.
Here it is, the most annoying feature found in any web-based survey tool. Using this default feature is guaranteed to make your response rates plummet. Here are several alternatives.
A common trap - and one that is even mistakenly preached by web-based survey companies as a best practice! - is including the Not Applicable option. Here I give examples of when to include and NOT include on your survey.
If we want your people (e.g., your members, employees, customers, students) to ever respond to your NEXT survey, we must incorporate these ideas into the confirmation page of your surveys.
Ah, another Survey Ninja insider tip! Even the experts miss this one and this trap is baked into most survey tools. Here is how to avoid it.
It is so important to consider your survey to be a conversation with your respondents in order to avoid this trap. Here are examples to help keep you on the path.
Wow - you are already in the top 5% of all survey creators and on the cusp of being a Survey Guru! Here are even more tactics that even experts overlook.
Here is the lesson that I have taught to hundreds of organizations, often saving them thousands of dollars spent on useless incentives. Hope this sparks some ideas for you.
So often overlooked is the messaging throughout the survey process - email invitations, instructions at the top of the survey, explanations within the survey, etc. We need to take time to craft these messages to engage our audience.
Surprise! A gift for you to continue the work we've started together.
For two decades, Matthew Champagne, Ph.D. has influenced survey and feedback practices in learning organizations worldwide as a senior research fellow, university professor, theorist, serial entrepreneur, and in-demand speaker. He has authored more than 75 articles, books and how-to guides with practical solutions to create high-quality survey instruments and processes that have been implemented at more than 600 organizations. Dr. Champagne's theories and research spawned the web-based course evaluation industry in higher education and he helped create many of the innovative web-based technologies used today to improve the quality of training and customer service.