Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Northeastern Illinois University Commuter Survey

I thought NEIU's commuter survey was decent and provided the university with some information regarding commuter tendencies. It began with a introduction explaining the contents of the survey and what the results were going to be used for. The introduction could have been a little more professionally phrased, but for the most part it served its purpose.

The first page of the survey consisted of demographic questions. I feel that it would be better to put this information at the end of the survey to signal that it was coming to an end and also to keep any "sensitive" questions at the end, so as not to discourage people from completing the survey. (some people may view demographic questions as "sensitive")

The survey data was split up according to semester. I think it would be better to divide the data sections in a way that would account for seasonality commuting changes. Some of the questions in the survey seemed redundant, and I think I would have found it frustrating to take the survey. I would feel that I was answering essentially the same question more than once. A few of the questions in the survey could be combined and formatted more effectively to make it easier and faster for respondents.
For example, question 3 in the survey asks, "How do you typically get to NEIU," with a rating system ranging from "always" to "never" for a variety of transportation options (drive, carpool, walk, etc.).
Question 5 asks the respondent to, "Please estimate, on average, how many miles PER WEEK you used the following modes of transportation." The respondent must then go through the same transportation options, but this time must provide weekly mileage for each. These questions are essentially asking the same thing.

After 7 questions, the survey is complete. I believe that the survey fulfilled its purpose in a very fundamental sense. I believe our survey can provide much more substantial and informative information, using questions that are easier for the respondent to answer.

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