Frequently Asked Questions

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Teachers College, Columbia University
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Survey Research Initiative

Survey Research Initiative

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the maximum length of the survey?

We suggest about 30 multiple questions per survey and 2 open-ended questions. Based on experience, we have found that when surveys are longer, respondents fail to complete the surveys.
Are the surveys distributed only through an electronic link?

We recommend that staff and students take the surveys online during the school day. However, for parents, many schools use our paper survey option since some parents do not have easy access to the Internet.

If the surveys are taken anonymously, how do you prevent someone from taking the survey more than once?

Our survey program has several methods, including planting cookies on computers, to prevent a participant taking the survey more than once. In addition, SRI may monitor responses if surveys are disseminated through individual email addresses.
How long does it take to generate a final report?
Usually three to four weeks after the surveys have closed. However, during the busy time, usually in the middle of the summer, it may take a bit longer to generate a report. We recommend that surveys be made available to stakeholders for three weeks.Final reports will be available about one month after the surveys close, unless clients are interested in having their results benchmarked against other similar schools.

Are surveys available in languages other than English?
Yes, we provide Spanish translation services for our clients, at no additional cost. Additional languages may be accommodated upon request.

What type of questions are asked on the survey?
As mentioned, each question can be customized by the client, but typically, we group the questions into four key areas, such as School Environment, School Culture, Teacher Effectiveness, and Administration Effectiveness.