Thursday, June 9, 2011

Survey Variety

      The growth of the internet and in particular the World Wide Web has led to the extended use of electronic mail for business communication, the electronic survey is becoming a more widely used survey method. Electronic surveys can take many forms. They can be distributed as electronic mail messages sent to potential respondents. They can be posted as World Wide Web forms on the Internet, and they can be distributed via publicly available computers in high-traffic areas such as libraries and shopping malls. In many cases, electronic surveys are placed on laptops, and respondents fill out a survey on the laptop rather than on paper. Advantages of using the internet to administer surveys would be that the recipient is able to receive the survey in seconds, it is cost effective, and a wider base of participants can be reached and given the opportunity to answer in a timely manner.

Oral surveys are considered more personal forms of survey than the written or electronic methods. Oral surveys are generally used to get thorough opinions and impressions from the respondents. Oral surveys can be administered in several different ways. For instance, in a group interview, as opposed to a group administered written survey, each respondent is not given an individual questionnaire. Instead, the respondents work in groups to answer the questions together while one person takes notes for the whole group. Another more familiar form of oral survey is the phone survey. Phone surveys can be used to get short one word answers (yes/no), as well as longer answers. Some advantages of using oral surveys include; the administrator’s ability to control the response rate and to answer any questions participants have about the survey.

Written surveys are another way to obtain useful feedback for business. There are 3 types of written surveys; Mail, group, and drop-off surveys. Mail surveys don’t limit the business and allow them to reach a large sample of people. Mail surveys are inexpensive to administer and they are convenient for the respondent because they are able to respond at their leisure. The group administered survey allows a high response rate and the administrator is able to get results in a set time and space. A drop-off survey is similar to a mail survey in that it is convenient for the respondent, but the administrator is able to describe the importance of the survey when it is dropped off. 

University, Colorado State. Writing Guide: Survey Research . 1993-2011. <>.

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