Thursday, August 11, 2011

"Click on the radio button next to your answer."


Having to place checks [] inside boxes is now seriously old-school.

A couple of days ago, a friend sent over a link to a questionnaire for a survey she was conducting for her undergrad thesis. I thought it was a link to a document I should download, print, answer manually and hand over to her personally, or otherwise something I could refer to and send my answers to separately. As it turned out, it was an online survey [a well-crafted one at that] that she made herself.

And because my SLR (Supervised Legal Research) partner and I had been fretting over the data-gathering aspect of our research for a couple of weeks now, I was instantly excited at the prospect! I mean, sure, I've responded to a few [formal] surveys online, but I always thought they could only be pulled off by paying institutions or people who were willing to shell out to get the data they need.

I remember having to bear the awkwardness and having to appear unaffected by the annoyed looks from the people we had to randomly survey at coffee shops because we were running out of time for our undergrad thesis.

So, I immediately looked around online for free survey tools and found a lot of websites that host them. I was ecstatic! I could only think of all the time and all the effort that could be saved if we used one of these sites for our research. I signed up for a couple of them and found out that one even had a feature that could do a quick analysis of the responses if you wanted it to.

I guess we're going to have to think about the getting a strong sample of the people we're going to survey, in terms of tracking who the respondents are exactly and how we can ensure we don't have to face problems of getting responses that are unqualified or, well, not at all responsive. But I think it's manageable.

I sure wish I knew about these free tools back in college; it could've saved us a lot of money and time. In any case, I'm just absolutely happy to learn about them now, right about the time we're doing research for our SLR.


#8 - Somayyah Abdullah
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