In our last post, we talked about how to word open-ended questions. Why is this important? Because if done correctly, you can capture rich qualitative data from people using less expensive survey methods. We also talked about answer piping– taking the responses from one question and porting them into the text of another question. The value of answer piping is that it allows each survey participant to answer questions that are personally relevant to them which, crucially, engages them and inspires rich reflective responses. It looks something like this:
Now imagine something even cooler.
We were recently asked to design a study that involved following a group of 90 professionals over time as they developed a new approach to working with their clients. As with any new program, we anticipated that they would, at least at first, experience challenges implementing the new approach. We were interested in learning whether and how, over the course of the program, they would deal with these challenges. With 90 participants, it wasn’t possible to conduct multiple interviews with everyone, yet we wanted to understand how each person addressed the issues he or she faced. We could have asked each person, at the end of the project, what challenges they anticipated at the start, but over the 18 months it was active we were concerned that they would not accurately recall their initial concerns. How can you make this work in a survey? [Read more…]