Friday, 8 October 2010

Our Survey says....

So you've been tasked with creating some sort of Survey to capture your audiences views on specific points, using a unstructured set up such as a blog or wiki isn't enough you basically want to quiz them on some certain area's of interest to either figure out if they've actually learn't anything or just to get a general overview of your group... why not give them a survey?

Survey's are great... ok no they're not they're both a pain to create and a pain to fill out! So why not make this painful process as simple and easy as possible?! Let SharePoint (tulip) do the hard work! Incase you've not caught on by now SharePoint has a built in Survey tool and its pretty cool if I'm honest!

How do I get to this "Pretty cool" survey tool then?

This "Pretty Cool" can be found on your SharePoint site of choice under the left hand menu "Surveys" its the very top option you might very well have missed it I know it took me some time to find it! If you click on this link you'll be brought through to the page which lists all the surveys your SharePoint site has, I'm assuming that by looking at this tutorial this'll just have the dummy survey created by default!

So lets get on and create a survey, some advice if your yet to fully arrange the finer details of your survey asides from the fact you actually want to create one I suggest you create a couple dummy surveys first so you know what this tool is capable of doing first. Since it seams when it comes to creating a survey the technology is a tiny bit of a barrier, this is regardless of the platform your using in fact I've found SharePoints survey tool to be quite powerful!

Steps to creating your first Survey:

I'd like to note that I'm creating this dummy survey on a mac using safari with Silver Light not installed (so pretty much the most backwards way of using a Microsoft product)
  1. Go to your SharePoint site, click on the "Surveys" link on the left hand menu.
  2. Click "Create" from this new page.
  3. Under "Tracking" select "Survey".
  4. Give it a suitable name and if you feel you need to give it a description do so, you have the option to make it display in the "quick launch" menu, this is the left hand menu. The following two options are useful, of "Show User Names" and "Allow multiple responses", they've both quite self explanatory, you do however get the chance to change these later if needs be. When your happy here click next. Its sometimes worth allowing multiple responses start with as it allows you to test the survey a number of times once done!
  5. You then get thrown right in the thick of it by constructing your questions. Its worth noting that although its useful to get this initial stage all done 100% correct its not vital since all information can be changed if so desired, i.e. question, type of answer and order can be altered and removed (if so desired). The creation of questions is a 4 part affair:
    • First you enter the question, I've found that its worth setting a consistent form to your questions, i.e. if you start of numbering them make sure you remember to continue this numbering throughout (including the format of numbering 1) or 1. or 1- etc) and likewise be consistent with how you end these questions I found I was constantly swopping between : and ?'s.
    • Next you have to enter what type of answer you require there's a long list to go through I'm no professional of what each section is but I'll try to explain to the best of my ability:
      • Single Line of Text - best used for single word answers or phrases, you get the added option of limiting how many characters the user can type in.
      • Multiple Lines of Text - if your asking for specific feedback about a question or asking for comments, you also get the option to limit the number of lines displayed in the box (i.e. the box's size) however if exceeded the box will start scrolling. (its wise to only use the Multiple line option if you know the user is going to type a lot in there the less used the better as it'll maintain a snappy survey for both the user and the computer).
      • Choice (menu to choose from) here you get to create your very own multiple choice question, similar to the choose your nationality question so many online application forms ask.
      • Number (you can set a max and min number if so desired).
      • Currency
      • Date & Time
      • Lookup (information already on this site) I don't quite get this type of answer, you get the option to select which area of the site you want to lookup and then the user can select that option, i.e. if you got it to look at modified site content you'd be given a list of modified site content to choose from the only way I could see that this might be useful is if you wanted students to choose their favourite document or something similar and equally as boring as that! 
      • Yes/No (check box) - you don't get the choice between choosing yes or no you get the choice of choosing yes or leaving it blank (doesn't quite look right so I end up creating a Yes and No option in the Choice answer option. 
      • Person or Group - your answer will be a person or a group on your site could be useful if you've doing per assessments... particularly if your doing online per assessments and have set groups into anonymous groups users could select the group which they think is best/worse etc. 
      • External Data - I have no idea what this option is since its not fully functional due to the system not being set up to allow it. (just pretend it doesn't exist). 
      • Page Separator - this tool is actually the most useful tool on this list as it allows you to group your questions the end result is a page approach to the survey so users don't feel initially bombarded with questions. 
      • Managed Metadata... ok don't quite know what this does either.. shall add to these two when I've got some time to look into them some more!
    • The 3rd option... wow that's quite a long list up there! anyway the last option is you get to customise your chosen type of answer i.e. you can add the extra options if your using a multiple choice question or how many characters you want to use on a Single line answer etc. 
    • Last but not least you also get to use the very powerful tool of "Branching Logic" this being "if answered yes to above skip to question x", but you can do this with all range of answers from yes or no to multiple choice etc. 
  6. So when you've gone through all your questions you'll probably want to check out an overview of them to check you've included them all and if you need to reorder or edit any of them etc. This can be done by going to the list of surveys you have for your site, click on the survey in question.
  7. Within here you can participated in the survey by clicking on "Respond to this Survey" button or edit and change the settings of the survey:
    Click settings - survey settings
  8. Survey Settings - allow you to edit any of the questions by clicking on them, from this overview page your able to see how the layout of your survey looks, a system which I've done is that if you've implemented the "page separator' feature make sure that you explain what page your on in the next question (page 1 of 10 etc). At the bottom of the page you can click "Add a question" to get to the add question menu again, and change order of the questions  does as it says on the tin. You're also able to save the survey as a template, which is particularly useful if you've made a generic survey for a range of modules/programmes. 
I think that's all I'm going to say about this Survey tool this post has far to little amount of images for my liking and to small amount of comedy so I feel a little uncomfortable being so serious through such a large amount of typing!

Oooh one last thing viewing responses that can be found on the image above just after clicking on your survey of choice "Show Graphical Summary of Responses" and "Show all responses" that's all that gets displayed on a non internet explorer computer, if your using windows and have Excel installed you get the choice to download data to an Excel format for post analysis! FUN TIMES!

I might add to this post in time once I've had more of a play about, but hope its been of some use!

1 comment:

Liz McGregor said...

We are glad you like the survey tool in tulip sites. Did you know that if you use the Administration palette to set up your survey, you can choose the 'Survey Responder' permission set that will allow automatically set permissions so that students can respond and will only see their own responses and no one else's?