Survey your impact at scale with Chalkboard Education

Did you know you could leverage Chalkboard Education’s offline-first solution to roll out impact and satisfaction surveys at scale, seamlessly, reaching anyone on Earth with a simple SMS?

Surveys are essential tools utilised in most firms’ impact measurement activities. They are critical because they aid in collecting direct feedback from beneficiaries or staff on the ground, and impact data for statistical analysis.

In this article, we detail out a guide on how to structure surveys and roll them out with Chalkboard Education.

When can you use Surveys?

Surveys can be useful in a very wide variety of situations! Here are the most common use cases for Surveys we have observed amongst our customers.

  • Assessing your impact: Surveys can be a powerful tool to get feedback and information from ground officers or from beneficiaries, for example on the outcomes of a previous activity.
  • Assessing performance: Surveys can ascertain employees’ performance, get actionable data, and make inferences based on the information attained from respondents.
  • Assessing the quality of training programs: Surveys can spearhead impact assessment to determine the quality and effectiveness of training programs on participants. Firms can retool and modify their plans based on this information and effectively measure their service delivery.
  • Assessing satisfaction: More generally, surveys provide a range of options to help your beneficiaries and end users provide feedback on your operations or on a set topic. Surveys questions can all be illustrated and documented to help comprehension and engagement.
  • Assessing project advancement: Regular, successive surveys on a specific subject can help firms remotely assess the effective progress of their ground operations.

How to Design a Survey

Before a survey is released, it is essential to detail out and structure the study, and we take you through a few important considerations which will ensure you come up with an excellent survey.

  • Pick the purpose: Surveys should be precise and geared towards a specific target group. Example -> Survey to assess Group X’s understanding of our training material and training sessions. Setting a theme from the get-go helps to guide you when constructing questions.
  • Set expectations: At the beginning of the survey, explain to respondents the purpose of the survey, with details on the survey’s length. Doing this helps to settle participants in with them, understanding what is expected of them.
  • Keep it short and sweet: Questions for surveys should be concise, with questions being transparent and straightforward. With lengthy questions, you increase the risk of participants discontinuing the survey or rushing answers to complete the survey.
  • Pick out the essential questions: Weed out the items that are pretty similar and extend the length of your survey.
  • Use of open-ended or closed-ended questions: Open-ended and closed-ended items are dependent on the type of responses you seek. Open-ended questions will result in varying descriptive responses that may provide insights but will require manual reviewing, whereas close-ended questions result in a single objective that can easily be graphically represented.
  • Illustrate your questions: it can be helpful for some topics to illustrate your questions. For example, to ask how a respondent’s crops are growing, displaying pictures of typical crops at different stages of growth can help the respondent identify which one is the closest to their crops’.
  • Test the survey on a focus group: Firms can test their surveys in-house to assess the clarity of their surveys, and check whether they receive intended responses from their survey.
Surveys on Mobiles can allow you to reach large cohorts of people remotely. Photo by Adismara Putri Pradiri

Things to Avoid

Here are a few mistakes you can avoid to make your Survey easier to take for respondents, and clearer to analyse for yourself.

  • Avoid compound questions: We advise you not to have layered questions in a survey. Respondents may struggle to answer these, please keep it one at a time.
  • Avoid using jargon: Unless the intended target group is aware of the vocabulary, we encourage you not to use them as this may confuse your respondents, or provide clear definitions or illustrations of the terms you are using.
  • Avoid leading questions: Try to avoid asking questions that show your respondents towards a biased response, e.g. “considering “Product Y” is terrible; what are your thoughts on “Product Y?”.”
  • Don’t ask if you don’t need it: If the information is not required, do not ask for it! It lengthens your survey, and some questions will make your respondents uneasy, so only ask them if they are needed.

These are our suggestions, but designing a survey is not limited to just the points discussed above: this is why testing your questions with samples of respondents, or even coworkers or friends, is an important task to do before distributing questionnaires at scale. It is the only way to ensure your questions are understood the way you intend them to be, and attract the answers you need.

Surveying with Chalkboard Education

Because each Survey answers its own objectives, and because questions must be engaging and simple for respondents to answer the most complete way possible, Chalkboard Education gives you many different question type options to choose from and compose your Survey with :

Creating a Multiple Choice question with Chalkboard Education dashboard
  • Multiple choice: The typical question type: respondents choose one option from a list of many.
  • Checkbox: Another popular question type, which allows respondents to select multiple preferred options from a list of many.
  • Sequence: Respondents pick out answers and rank them by order of preference. This response type shows a participant’s order of choice for a range of options.
  • Essay: An open-ended question, in which respondents can type in their answer in full text. This is the preferred question type for qualitative studies.
  • Rating Scale: Respondents select a grade within a set rating scale. The scale can be set from any minimal to any maximal value: typically, from 1 to 5 or from 1 to 10, letting respondents express their appreciation.

Process your Surveys results

Designing your Survey is only the first step of effective surveying! Another very important step is how you collect and process results: processes have to be safe and reliable, to protect both your users data and the integrity of your results, but also easy enough to make Surveys a cost-efficient tool for your organisation to roll out often.

This is for this reason that Chalkboard Education has developed its Surveys feature. Benefiting from years of experience in safely delivering training to underserved communities, our Surveys are rolled out directly onto our encrypted light mobile solution and can be taken offline, results being shared whenever an Internet connection is available, and automatically accessible individually or in bulk through a variety of options:

Displaying a trainee’s answer to a Survey in the Chalkboard Education dashboard
  • Display Results in Chalkboard Education Dashboard: You can display respondents’ individual Survey results from your management dashboard, and mark them accordingly to your needs.
  • Export Data in bulk: To ease your processing, our dashboard allows you to export the data collected from surveys in well-structured CSV files. This gives you total control over the data and the ability to generate any graphics or to re-import it in any other software.
  • Integrate your existing dashboard with our API: For seamless and automated processing, you can plug your internal systems to our API. This allows you to automatically import Survey data into your existing dashboard, making your reporting and impact measurement even easier.
  • Display Results to Respondents: You can display survey results back to respondents, directly on the application after they take them. Doing this allows respondents to review and assess their responses before and after a training session for example, allowing the organisation and participants to see the training’s effects.

Try and see for yourself!

Surveying is an essential part of impact-driven organisations, and we hope this article was informative! Now that you have learned how to develop a sound survey that will serve as an efficient data collection and analysis tool, it is time to practice!

Contact our team for a demo of our dashboard! We will be happy to walk you through our Surveys feature, and explore how Surveys can help your organisation meet and measure its objectives.

Educational technology in Africa and emerging markets https://www.chalkboard.education/

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store