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Survey Design: Best Practices for Beginners

Class Code


Class Description

Effective immediately in response to COVID-19, all Technology Training classes will be delivered online until further notice.

In advance of each session, Tech Training will provide you with a Zoom link to your class, along with any required class materials.

When surveying users and customers, it is important to ask the right questions to the right people at the right time and to construct the survey so that meaningful results can be obtained, analyzed, and reported. In this class you will learn how to design an effective survey and bring actionable insights to your organization. 

Whether you’re collecting customer feedback, performing employee evaluations, or planning an event, the first step toward creating an effective survey is to brush up on the basics of survey science. Check out our resources for online survey tips and best practices to make sure your next survey is a success! 

Learning Objectives: 

  • Why survey?
  • How to strategically plan your survey
  • Understand the best practices for survey design
  • Review collection techniques to get the best response rate
  • How to analyze, present and share the findings
  • Determine which online tool is best for your survey

Topic Outline:


  • Formulating the problem or question to be answered
  • Determining the research approach
  • Setting objectives for information collection


  • Choosing a collection method (Qualtrics, Google Forms, or SurveyMonkey)
  • Tips for good visual design
  • Types of questions/response alternatives
  • Pretesting and pilot testing
  • Pitfalls to avoid
  • Good question test - is it clear, easy answerable, unbiased?


  • Collecting responses
  • Statistical significance

Qualitative vs. Quantifiable

  • Improving response rates and retention

Analysis & Reporting

  • Filtering and customizing results
  • Sharing results

University IT Technology Training classes are only available to Stanford University staff, faculty, students, and Stanford Hospitals & Clinics employees, including Stanford Health Care, Stanford Health Care Tri-Valley, Stanford Medicine Partners, and Stanford Medicine Children's Health. A valid SUNet ID is needed to enroll in a class.