Creating an Impactful Survey During COVID-19

Survey Creation, COVID-19, Student Survey
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At Pride Surveys, our goal is to create an impactful survey that will provide community coalitions and school partners with the tools to adequately gauge the happenings in their particular area and help promote change. There are many critical components involved in developing survey questions that will provoke honest responses. With the additional challenges of COVID-19, there are more considerations and different approaches to take during survey development and the manner in which surveys are deployed.

10 Steps to Create an Impactful Survey

Here Are the Top 10 Steps to Create an Impactful Survey:

Determine the Overarching Goal of the Survey.

What is the question you want to answer most? Think about how the data will be used and what can make it more useful. At Pride Surveys, we decided to look at student health and mental health as it relates to the pandemic. We also wanted to look at student access to technology as a part of that overall question of health, termed as “educational health,” to determine how readily students could access the necessary educational materials.

Write Questions.

We typically start with as many questions as we can come up with, usually in the hundreds, then cull down the number by removing those deemed poor questions later.

Write Responses.

Use standard response categories when possible. There’s a reason they are standard, as they are easy to understand. While determining the responses, winnow out the questions that do not align with your goals and work to improve or eliminate any that may seem unessential.

Begin the Interview Process.

The interview process entails cognitive pre-testing for youth to ensure they understand the questions and that they are worded correctly. An IRB (Institutional Review Board) approval is required for this step as it tests human subjects, so it is best to hire a few professors to help facilitate the process.

Make Any Edits Based on the Interviews.

The interviews provide a solid benchmark for how the questions are phrased, ease of answer, and any adjustments necessary.

Time for a Trial Run.

Survey a good number of students, roughly a few hundred. Pride Surveys aims to trial approximately 10,000 students for a new COVID-19 survey through the school health system we are working with in our hometown.


Have a statistician review the survey responses and run some statistical analyses. Things like multiple regression analyses help to check for reliability and validity.

Edit Your Survey Based on the Findings.

The analysis will help you edit the survey to its final version and identify any questions that should be removed.

Time to Survey.

You now have a valid and reliable survey to start utilizing.

Redo the Analysis Every Few Years.

As you modify the survey to ensure it continues to be a valid and reliable instrument, perform ongoing analyses to monitor the validity and reliability of the survey instrument, and ensure it remains an impactful survey.

Should you have questions or be interested in an online survey related to student wellbeing and health during a pandemic or other topics, Pride Surveys is here to help. Contact us today to learn more.

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