Survey savvy

tipsSurveys and questionnaires are cost-effective tools to assess public legal education and information (PLE) needs in your community or to evaluate a training session. However, any survey is only as valuable as the number of responses you get from it.

Here are some tips for developing surveys and questionnaires to help you get the information you need from as many people as possible.

  • Keep it short. Try to stick to 7 or 8 questions – and don’t ask more than 10 or 12. Asking a small number of questions will increase the likelihood that people will respond.
  • Keep it simple. Limiting the questions to yes/no or multiple choice makes it easier for people to fill in and for you to analyse. Don’t forget to include a “Don’t know” or “None of the above” option – and give people the chance to give more detailed feedback by leaving a space for comments.
  • Give people information about the survey. Let people know how long it will take to fill out the survey and the deadline for completing it. It’s also important to let people know why you are conducting the survey and how their responses will be used.
  • Be mindful of privacy concerns. If you are asking people for their names, let them know if their name will be used in any report – and if you plan to use their names, you need to ask them for permission. Giving people the option to respond anonymously, if this is possible, may increase your response rate.

See CLEO’s Better Legal Information Handbook for sample questions and more information on testing PLE materials.

One Comment

  1. Author: Ingrid Sapona

    on September 8, 2014 at 12:55 pm - Reply

    You know, all the points you made are very basic. But the thing is — it’s SO easy to lose sight of the basics and then we shoot ourselves in the foot! Thanks for the reminder.

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