Questions to Ask
Designing surveys and analyzing the results can get complicated. That doesn’t mean that the survey questions you ask should also be complicated – think simple. People may be more likely to complete surveys if they are brief and easy to read and complete.
It is a good idea to include the length of the survey in your invitation to complete the survey. For example, in your email to families, you could ask them to complete a quick, six-question survey about the field trip options for summer programming.
One way to determine what questions to ask is to evaluate surveys that have been deployed in the past. Review the results and identify the solid information the survey produced. At the same time, look for areas where the questions asked didn’t produce helpful information and make revisions to those questions. For example, a question about menu satisfaction that resulted in a low score but no opportunity for families to give specific feedback should be revised.
Here are some things to keep in mind:
If you want specific information, you will need to ask specific questions. It may be helpful to gather general feedback about overall satisfaction from time to time, but targeted questions are also useful. If you want to know how families are using the new electronic daily reports, ask them for specifics about the product and how they are using it. If you only want to know if families are happy with the electronic daily reports, ask that.
Types of questions.
There are many different ways to word survey questions that should be based on the underlying information you are trying to gather. Below are a few generally-worded questions you could use in a survey. Remember, you would want to modify these to incorporate the specific scenario in question.
- Are you satisfied? Are you pleased with the current situation?
- Did we meet your expectations? How well did your experience match your expectations in this situation?
- Is ‘the product’ a good value? Do you feel ‘the product’ is worth what you are paying for it?
- What impact have you seen as a result of this new initiative? How do you feel about the impact of this change?
- Are we meeting your needs? How can we better meet your needs?
- What was this experience like for you? How does this compare to past experiences you have had?
- Would you refer us to a friend or family member?
- Was the product easy to access? Are there any barriers preventing you from participating?
- Do you find the product useful? What do you like/dislike about the product?
You could also ask for feedback about different features of the program, such as the playground, cleanliness of the facility, the curriculum, the hours of operation, etc.
Many surveys ask respondents to express their opinions using a rating scale. Experts recommend using a 1-3 or a 1-5 scale. There are also 1-7 and 1-10 scales. The more numbers used, the more chance for inconsistency in how respondents define a score of 7 versus what a score of 8 means (in a 1-10 scale).
Rating scale questions can ask about the level of satisfaction (1= Not very satisfied to 5= Very satisfied).
You could also ask respondents to agree or disagree with the survey statements. For example, XYZ Early Learning Centers explained the enrollment paperwork requirements to me in a way that was easy to understand.
It may also be beneficial to gather feedback using a list of adjectives that respondents click on if they feel the adjective represents their feelings about your services.
Here is a link to an article that explores types of rating scales in detail.
It is a good idea to include a few open-ended questions that invite respondents to share more details about their experience with your program. These can be optional questions. Again, consider the goals of the survey to determine the best open-ended question(s) to include. Here are a few questions that can be modified:
- How are we doing?
- What could we do better?
- Is there anything else that you want to tell us?
- If you could change one thing about your experience, what would it be?
- Please share any barriers that prevent you from participating/taking full advantage of our services.
- What could we have done differently that would have changed your mind about disenrolling?
For the main article Measuring and Boosting Satisfaction, CLICK HERE
For the article Gathering Feedback, CLICK HERE
For the article Responding to Feedback, CLICK HERE
For the article Director’s Corner: Measuring Teacher Satisfaction, CLICK HERE