Surveyor - What it is, and how to use it
Surveyor is a survey application that enables surveys and questionnaires to be produced and published on the web. Surveys/questionnaires are created, published, and managed through Internet Explorer (version 5 or higher) - no additional software needs to be installed on your PC in order to use Surveyor. You should have an outline questionnaire planned or already prepared (e.g. in Word document form) before starting to use Surveyor. Please note that it is only available to University Staff.
People responding to Surveyor questionnaires do so through a single web link that takes them to the first page of the survey. The only software they require to respond to the Surveyor survey/questionnaire is a web browser (e.g. Internet Explorer 5 or higher).
When your survey/questionnaire is published, statistical reports are available through Surveyor's administration interface as soon as respondents start answering a survey/questionnaire. Data can also be exported to spreadsheet applications (e.g. Excel) or other statistical applications.
Any member of University staff wishing to create a web survey/questionnaire can be granted access to Surveyor to create and manage one or more questionnaires. To request an account, please contact the IT Service Desk on ext. 2000.
Surveyor can be used for:
- gathering feedback (e.g. customer satisfaction or service reviews).
- gathering data*.
- quick polls.
* Please note that the University's version of Surveyor *does not* currently operate using a secure channel (SSL) therefore certain kinds of sensitive personal data should not be requested using Surveyor surveys/questionnaires.
What Surveyor does (features available)
- Multiple choice questions
- Matrix questions (e.g. very satisfied | satisfied | dissatisfied | very dissatisfied)
- Rating questions
- Free text questions
- Drop down lists (for selecting responses)
- Easily include 'standard' input fields.
- Create custom input fields.
- Set questionnaire background image and colour.
- Set questionnaire font type, size, and colour.
- Include pictures in questions.
- Display questions across one or more pages.
- Duplicate questions (speeds survey creation e.g. different questions having the same range of multiple choice answers).
- Set conditional branching (i.e. asking only relevant questions based on previous responses).
- Set open and close dates for surveys.
- Prevent multiple responses.
- Password protect surveys for survey administrators.
- Clone existing surveys.
- Archive old surveys.
- View summary reports (with charts).
- View reports for specific range of responses (configurable).
- Export data in CSV (comma separated values) format for external analysis in a spreadsheet or statistics application.
What Surveyor doesn't do
Design your questionnaire!
Surveyor lets you create web based questionnaires based on questionnaires you have already designed**.
Also, Surveyor questionnaires can only be as effective as the questionnaires that go into them. Designing a questionnaire can be quite straightforward - designing a GOOD questionnaire is less straightforward, and requires some careful thought and planning.
For questionnaire design hints try
the following resources:
- a range of books is available through University of Wolverhampton Learning Centres - from http://www.wlv.ac.uk/lib/opac use the Search feature for the keywords "questionnaire design". A recommended book is Cohen, L Manion, L and Morrison, K (2000) Research Methods in Education, London, Routledge Falmer, giving a list of helpful tips on page 261 for reference.
- an overview/tutorial in questionnaire/survey design: http://www.statpac.com/surveys/surveys.doc.
**Please note, Surveyor does not import questionnaires in the form of documents/files from applications such as Word.
Please refer to the self-help guide to using Surveyor - (http://www2.wlv.ac.uk/its/selfhelp/help/surveyor/using_surveyor.pdf) 3.3mb .
There are also comprehensive help screens within the package. See Frequently Asked Questions about Surveyor (below) for guidance on the most common problems encountered when using Surveyor.
Support for Surveyor
Surveyor is a specialist software application and is not part of the University's standard software portfolio. The following support is available from IT Services by contacting the IT Service Desk on ext. 2000:
- creation of Surveyor user accounts
- self-help user guide (including examples) - downloadable from this page
Training courses are not currently available through the University Corporate Staff Development Programme.
Frequently Asked Questions about Surveyor
Q: I can't export my survey data - there is no file/I don't know what to do with the data on the screen!
A: The most common reason for data export problems when using Surveyor is that a filename has been typed into the 'Filename' box on the Data Export screen. Page 31 of the user guide shows a screenshot of the data export screen in Surveyor – note that the filename box is empty.
Data will be exported to the screen – it can then be selected, copied (using the Edit menu Copy option in the browser, or by pressing Ctrl + C) and pasted into a text editor. Windows PCs have Notepad and Wordpad installed, which are ideal for pasting the data into (in the text editor, use the Edit menu Paste option in the browser, or press Ctrl + V). The data can then be saved in a file which must be given a .csv extension (e.g. mysurveydata.csv). This file can then be imported into Excel or other spreadsheet applications that support Comma Separated Values (CSV) files.
For advice on using Excel to manipulate imported data, please refer to online help in Excel (pressing F1 from within Excel will start the help feature) or refer to Excel guidance in the IT Services Self Help website. If you cannot find the information you need, please log a further Service Desk call requesting assistance in using Excel to import and interpret data from CSV files.
Q: Surveyor tells me I don't have permissions to edit a drop-down list
A: This usually means the Lists button on the Surveyor button bar has been selected - however this Lists function only works for Surveyor system administrators. To create and edit lists for your own surveys, please use the Creating Drop-down Lists section on Page 23 of the user guide.
Q: When people try to use my survey they get a message saying the survey is closed
A: Check the close date on the Edit Survey screen - make sure the end date falls in the future.
Q: I have sent a link to my survey but people are telling me they can't get to the survey
A: Make sure that the email link is to the full web address of the survey - if any characters are missing this will cause problems when people try to view it. If in doubt, please copy the survey URL from the 'Survey Administration' screen in Surveyor - this appears when you choose the survey from your list of available surveys when logged into Surveyor.