• Surveys: Overview

    Surveys (or questionnaires) are used to gather quantitative data. Through the addition of open-ended questions they can also be used to capture qualitative information. They allow you to capture data from a part of group for the purpose of describing one or more characteristics of a whole group. Surveys allow you to obtain a lot of data about your users in an efficient way and can be conducted via the web, email, phone, or in person. Surveys help researchers collect information to describe, compare, or explain knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors. The population that is chosen to research has at least one characteristic in common (ex. undergraduates, engineering students, students studying in X building). Surveys can provide a breadth of information about your users’ preferences and behaviors pertaining to existing learning spaces and technologies, which can inform decisions for planning a new space. Surveys are also useful for gathering feedback to assess how well current spaces are working.


    • A way to measure information from large populations
    • Allows you to capture a large amount of feedback / data in a short amount of time
    • All or portions of a survey can be reused


    • It can be challenging to write good survey questions
    • Developing and writing questions takes practice and should be tested before finalizing a survey and distributing it to the sample population
    • You may have difficulty obtaining a representative sample of the user categories you need
    • Long surveys will result in decreased participation
    • Frequent surveys maybe be perceived as a nuisance by the user community