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3 keys to better school survey participation rates

Your next school survey is only as good as the quality of feedback it receives.

It’s one thing to ask smart questions. But to conduct real research, you need a survey instrument that is both valid and reliable.

You also need a survey that parents and other community members feel comfortable responding to.

Over the past several months, K12 Insight’s team of Ph.D. researchers has analyzed participation rates on hundreds of school surveys nationwide. That research revealed three key steps school district leaders can take to maximize survey participation.

In January, we’ll be updating our Engage survey tool to help school leaders ensure better participation and engagement. Here’s three strategies, along with corresponding improvements, you don’t want to miss.  

Strategy 1: Keep it short

It might seem obvious, but long surveys often overwhelm or frustrate participants. That frustration results in participants dropping out before they submit they’re answers.

Solution: Estimated survey time

With our estimated survey time feature, you can see how long it should take for participants to complete the survey you are building. Use these insights to reduce the amount of time it takes to complete your survey by focusing on the questions that matter.

Engage estimated survey time

Strategy 2: Optimize your invites

Think about the number of emails that hit your inbox every day. It’s not hard to see how your survey invitations get missed or ignored. The most effective survey invites feature compelling subject lines and clear calls to action.

Solution: Embed questions in emails

With Engage, you can embed a question from your survey in the body of your email invitation. This helps participants visualize the types of questions you’ll be asking; it also piques their interest and gets them into the survey from the body of the email, removing a key barrier to completion.  

Engage embedded questions

Strategy 3: Make it relevant

If your community can’t see how your survey relates to or benefits them, you aren’t likely to get many responses. Make sure your survey feels relevant to everyone you invite to participate.

Solution: Answer piping

Engage includes the ability to use, or pipe, participants’ answers into subsequent survey questions. This not only reduces the time it takes to build your surveys, it also customizes each survey to the participant and improves relevancy.

Engage answer piping

To learn more about how Engage can help improve school survey participation, reach out to your K12 Insight strategic account executive, or sign up for a free demo of the Engage platform.

About the Author

Todd Kominiak
Todd is Managing Editor of TrustED. Email: tkominiak@k12insight.com.

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