I must say, for someone who began last week’s lesson with a complete lack of interest in creating surveys, I sure monitored this one a lot! It was really exciting to see the results trickle in and even more interesting to watch the “ratios” of the answers either remain constant or slightly change. I can speculate that the “snowball” was noticeable when it reached my mother’s friends as the demographics began to change and the answers ration shifted in a different direction. All sorts of implications can be made from this survey and it was only 5 questions! So let’s get to some of the findings (remember, I was attempting to survey the perceived affordability and accessibility of higher education):
I had a total of 94 people respond to the survey all from various backgrounds. My age demographic for participation was pretty interesting and almost looked like a bell curve. Most of my participants (30 out of 94) were between the ages of 45 and 54 and the other groups gradually got smaller as we work our way away from the middle of the curve. Further, most of my participants have earned a bachelor’s degree. I found it interesting that 15% of my respondents had already earned a graduate degree as well. I don’t know many people that have earned a graduate degree, so I wonder if this is one of the examples of a question being misleading. Maybe people from my graduate program answered this question as “graduate degree” even though they are in progress (there is a difference).
At a ratio of nearly 2:1, most people from my survey felt that higher education is not affordable for most people. The word “most” I suppose is a potential misnomer from this question and I also think that people can apply their personal situation too easily to the question, but I still found the results to be interesting either way. Especially when looking at the next question:
As you can see from this question, a LARGE majority of my respondents feel that higher education is accessible in the United States for most people. I did use the words “United States” in this question compared to the other and I wonder if this had anything to do with the results. There really are so many implications these surveys COULD have. As I go forward, I am not sure I am eager to explore the conceptual possibilities within reading the results of a survey professionally, but I certainly found the survey to be a worthwhile investment in my time (apparently just like higher education):
How could I have re-worded any of these questions to maybe get better results?
Have I changed your thoughts on surveys at all going forward? Have you worked with surveys at all?