Surveys & Evaluations

So it seems for the last couple of weeks I have been doing entirely too much work with survey material.  First it was the process of creating an effective evaluation survey for staff to comment on our in-service day in February.  Once the in-service day was over the next end was compiling all the responses from the 160 or so evaluations received.  Finally, once all the responses were compiled (God bless you Excel for your aid in that long process) I have been finishing up creating a summary of all the responses to present to the managers of the library system.  All around it was wonderful to have a good chunk of work to be working on but I am pretty ready to be done with surveys now.

In truth, I found compiling the responses to the evaluations to be very interesting.  I have to imagine that somebody, somewhere, has done some study on the way in which people respond to and fill out surveys and evaluations.  I would gues that there are probably some trends and styles in which people react to answering questions.  For what it is worth there should be another study done on the creation or use of surveys to find out what people hope to accomplish with them.

One of the most difficult parts I found in creating the evaluation surveys was deciding what the evaluation needed to include to solicit the most valuable responses (note: not necessarily the most positive responses, just the responses that would let us know the most about how people felt).  The difficulty in it is minimizing the amount of ambiguity in how an individual may respond at the same time as being able to collect the most honest and informing response.  Ultimately we settled on Yes/No questions and some spaces for written comments.  We had played around with the idea of creating a scale for responses, but personally I felt that the scale we were working with left too much open to interpretation and in the end would not actually be providing quality information.

After having compiled the response I think that our final version of the evaluation was about as effective as we could hope it to be.  Still I am interested in the whole process, and even why we, people, choose to use surveys and or evaluations.  It will be even more interesting to see what the managers think in regards to the summary I have created (hopefully they will be pleased considering that the evaluation overwhelmingly came back with positive responses).

Note: While Nebraska is likely an answer on some polls or surveys it is probably not on the above.

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~ by Nathaniel on March 13, 2009.

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