To minimize potential risks of harm, a researcher conducting an on-line survey can:
A) Specify that all respondents must be legal adults.
B) Suggest that subjects print a copy of the informed consent form for their records.
C) Comply with the survey software’s Terms of Service agreement.
D) Design the survey so that no direct or indirect identifiers are collected.
The correct Answer for the given question is D) Design the survey so that no direct or indirect identifiers are collected.
Among the main reasons for the growth in online surveys we’ve been seeing each year is the low costs. Additionally, conducting an online survey is convenient, thanks to the sheer reach. Researchers have shifted their focus to online survey tools over the past decade because they can send the surveys from their desktops or laptops, and their target audiences can respond when it’s convenient for them.
Internet surveys, or online surveys, are the most popular way to collect data, in which a set of survey questions are sent to a target sample and the sample members respond to the questions over the internet. Online surveys are sent to respondents via a number of channels such as email, embedded on a website, social media, etc. Organizations use online surveys to gain insight into upcoming products or services, change in marketing strategies, improvements of current features, etc. Increasingly, organizations rely on the data they receive and analyze from online surveys to make internal changes to their operations. To collect data efficiently, organizations need an online survey platform that is advanced and efficient.
Advantages of Online Surveys
- Faster way to reach the target audience: Online surveys are significantly faster at obtaining feedback than other survey techniques such as pen-and-paper surveys.
- Analyzing data in real-time: Researchers need to analyze the information after they have collected it in order to take prompt action. Researchers can analyze collected data from a central dashboard in real-time using online survey software.
- Cost-effective: In comparison to other survey methods, such as telephonic or pen-and-paper surveys, online surveys are significantly cheaper because they require less resources.
- Minimum margin-of-error: Respondents answer the surveys directly, with no involvement from a mediator, unlike traditional survey methods. Since online surveys have a very small margin of error, they are very reliable.
- Convenient for respondents to understand:Usually, online surveys are easy to respond to because they are sent to the email inbox or via social media, and can be done with just a click.
- Saves time for researchers: Researchers tend to save time using online surveys since they are easy to set up and send.
- Respondents are more honest: Researchers allow respondents to answer anonymously when conducting an online survey within a target audience. In online surveys, respondents are typically more honest and truthful in providing feedback due to the anonymity involved.
Disadvantages of Online Surveys
- Respondent Cooperation Issues: Many internet users are often bombarded with survey offers, offers, and many other internet nonsense. The chance of overlooking or not responding to an important online survey is possible.
- Data reliability is questionable: Surveys conducted online are conducted without the assistance of mediators or interviewers. In many cases, the feedback received may be considered questionable due to this absence.
- Access to some sections of a population is restricted: It is possible that some sections of a target population do not have Internet access. Feedback from such individuals may prove valuable for research in many cases.
Characteristics of Online Surveys
- Purpose of the online survey:
Online surveys must have this characteristic in order to be effective. A traditional survey can only lead to poor results. To conduct an online survey, researchers should determine the objective so that the results can be used to enhance products/services, customer service, or any other predetermined objective.
2) Accurate research design:
It is important for the researcher to plan a thorough research design for an online survey to yield efficient results. Implementing research designs can help determine how to conduct market research and analysis using online surveys. It can help market researchers to decide how to collect information using online surveys and how to measure and analyze collected data. The type of research design can be determined based on the research problem an organization is trying to address. In the case of an organization that intends to conduct an online survey at a specific time, the researchers can choose a cross-sectional research design and in situations where the organization wishes to observe certain changes over time, longitudinal design can be chosen.
3) Precisely structured survey questions:
The best surveys contain a carefully curated balance of open-ended and closed-ended questions. Online surveys can use various question types to meet different purposes. It is crucial that the questions added to an online survey are effective in obtaining the required information from the selected sample. Some of the most commonly used survey questions are:
- Multiple-choice questions
- Dichotomous questions
- Matrix questions
- Likert Scale questions
Online surveys can only yield reliable information if the purpose of the survey is justified by the type of survey questions.
As an example, Likert scale questions can be used to determine whether respondents agree or disagree with certain statements; or matrix questions can be used when there are a lot of similar questions to ask and there is a risk of respondents dropping off a survey if they are not combined. Ensure that the survey questions are well-structured to gain crucial details by understanding why an online survey is conducted.
4) Clearly defined target sample:
There is a difference between a sample and a representative segment of respondents who represent the needed characteristics for the research and whose inputs can be generalized and applied to the whole target market. The sample size can be determined by the number of individuals who are included in the sample after it has been filtered from the target population. Various factors can be considered when forming a sample; demographics, profession, etc., based on the researcher’s experience and knowledge. There are two basic sampling methods: convenience sampling and purposive sampling.
- Probability Sampling:
The Probability Sampling method is used to form a sample based on the theory of probability. As part of this sampling method, every member of a target population has an equal chance of being included in the sample.
- Non-probability Sampling:
Non-probability sampling means choosing a sample based on the researcher’s judgment, experience, and knowledge, and not by random selection.
5) Collection and Analysis of respondent feedback:
A good Internet survey can lead to productive results only if data collected from the online survey is analyzed to make informed decisions for your organization. With online survey software like QuestionPro, researchers can receive analyzed data on a dashboard that keeps updating as respondents fill out the online survey. On this dashboard, data is presented as charts and graphs so that market research can be easily analyzed statistically.
6) Transparent reporting of survey responses:
In order to make all of the stakeholders of the organization aware of the data collected through online surveys, research reports should be created using data from online surveys. In addition to this, respondent’s inputs should be understood that the organization is implementing their suggestions – this way, they will trust the organization to be honest in providing feedback for improvement.