Tips on How to Put Together Surveys for School Projects
Reasons for the Project
Conducting a school project survey involves the concepts of data analysis, probability and information interpretation. The process of the project assists in learning communication skills and the art of questioning for clear responses.
Design of the Project
Start with the basic construction. What is the basis or subject of the project? What information is needed to draw the needed conclusion? Once these questions are answered, the survey will begin to take shape.
Pick your target audience. For a school survey project, the audience may be students, teachers or other school employees. For answers from outside sources, be specific on the targets. The survey may be aimed at persons between a certain age range or those that live in particular areas. Registerd voters, business owners or other specific groups are options for audiences according to the subject of the survey.
When constructing questions for the project, they should be direct and to the point. Use questions that are answerable with a yes or a no. For more complex subjects, multiple choice answers can be used. Avoid question which require essay type answers as these do not give definitive data. Place examples in question that might seem unclear. If needed, break the subject down into parts and ask questions concerning each of these parts to come up with a complete an answer.
Keep the survey as brief as possible. People are more willing to answer three to five questions as opposed to a 10-20 question survey. The time involved in answering a long survey is a hindrance to the collection. By keeping the survey brief, the data interpretation will also be a simpler task.
The final piece of the construction is the time frame. The time frame is dependent on the depth of research intended for the data.
Conducting the Survey
Once the questions are in place and the target audience decided, it is time to conduct the survey. There are multiple methods of execution for conducting a survey.
In person surveys involve asking persons the selected questions directly and recording the responses. For first time surveyors, this may be the more difficult approach as it involves keeping records and asking only those who fit into the target audience. For surveys involving persons outside of the atmosphere, this method may work best as it does not require persons to fill out paper work and return their answers to the students.
Survey sheets, or individually written papers including questions and answer options, can be a more accurate way of collecting data. There is no option for mistakes in recording responses as the surveyed marks their own answers. The downside of these sheets is collecting the completed sheets after distribution.
For the simplest approach, a mass survey may be the best selection. A mass survey is conducted within a small group, such as classmates or the lunch ladies all at once with each individual giving their information on the spot.
The final stage of the school survey project involves the analysis of the data and creation of a representative display. The information is organized into a graph or chart to answer the original question.
For proper data analysis, separate the answers from each question to form a total for each. For example, make a list of all the responses for question one, then a list of all responses for question number 2.
Bar graphs created with a column for each question is a fairly easy method for beginners. Other options include creating pie graphs to show actual numbers or percentages of answers.
Make sure your purpose is clearly stated and presented in a logical way. Surveys can be very interesting and revealing. Have fun with your project!