Submitted by: Frank J. Lucer
Printing expenses are rising. Postage fees are also climbing. With all this, the comparison between paper-based questionnaires and online studies assumes a new degree of emergency for many businesses. For a few, the choice to migrate their survey projects to the net is an easy choice to make. The expense savings only are a satisfactory motivator; for other folks, the choice is more complex and entails realizing whether or not their market may make the change.
This article will compare and contrast paper-based and internet studies and provide a snapshot that shows how each medium fares in a range of areas; the following will help you ascertain whether or not shifting your questionnaires to an online platform makes sense given your finances, demands, and surveying objectives.
Display Is Important
Survey presentation is primarily focused on readability. To this effect, black ink on paper provides better resolution than a computer display, and thus is less difficult to read; this is unlikely to change, even as display resolutions improve. If your populace has a particularly difficult time reading text on a screen, this could be a genuine concern.
An additional element to bear in mind is query design. On documents, the surveyor is restricted to the area on each page. This is rarely a difficulty unless you are including open-ended queries
In such cases, the area given to the participant needs to be adequate for him or her to respond fully.
Speed From Execution To Data Collection
Those who usually execute their survey projects traditionally are frequently stunned by the quickness with which data may be collected and sorted on the internet. Take into account that paper-based surveys are typically sent by mail out to a populace; by the time recipients get the survey, take the time to respond, and ship it back, days may pass. Since it takes so long to obtain responses, the company is kept from taking action quickly.
An internet questionnaire tool may be created and made accessible in minutes. Furthermore, email invitations could be sent out, acquired, and replied to nearly immediately
Since online distribution happens so swiftly, your population may begin replying the moment they get your invite. Info is collected instantly and sorted by the software, making it available for speedy evaluation.
More Versatility In Query Writing
Web-based surveys offer the surveyor with more versatility when designing queries. While multiple choice items, ordinal lists, and Likert scales might be effortlessly presented on paper, drop-down menus can’t.
More so, questionnaire software provides many logic features that permit you to personalize the experience for each respondent; for example, branch logic lets you style a path based on every respondent’s previous selections. You could utilize skip logic to let individuals skip portions of your questionnaires depending on their responses to previous selections. Pipe logic permits you to “pipe” a participant’s responses into subsequent questions
By utilizing these features, you can create a personalized surveying experience that is not possible to accomplish with a paper-based study.
Consider Your Population
Your target audience might not be ready to move on the internet to finish your questionnaires. For instance, suppose your market is made up of senior citizens who spend very little time on their computers; they might check their email occasionally, but are going to check their mailbox every day without fail.
Also, what if your market is less than informed with computers? Even if they receive and read your email invite, will they be able to complete your survey without difficulty? For these questionnaire contributors, a paper-based questionnaire might be more suitable.
Most companies may benefit by making the move from paper to web-based questionnaires. The latter is less expensive, and accelerates info collection and reporting. You may even create alerts that inform your group if a participant conveys a distinct lack of fulfillment. That way, you may reply instantly to address their disappointment.
While paper surveys still have a place, their relevance will still decline as better, lower-cost alternatives become accessible on the internet.
About the Author: SurveyGizmo is a leading developer of
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