STUDENT SURVEYS UNSATISFACTORY

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Andrea Maclean

Associate News Editor

Surveys are an ineffective, inaccurate way for Ryerson University to collect information from students. When faced with checkboxes, a spectrum of options from very dissatisfied to very satisfied and a long list of questions, students go on auto-pilot.

The Eyeopener handed out 100 surveys to students from every faculty. The 63 question survey was too long to hold the attention of many students as pages were left blank. Questions were skipped or marked twice and in some surveys students checked the same rating for every question.

When it comes to surveys, students just want to get through them. It becomes a challenge to get it done as quickly as possible and get on with life. Answering a 63 question survey can take as long five minutes if completed thoroughly. Students approached by Eyeopener volunteers were completing them in half that time.

The questionnaire we distributed was a sample of Ryerson’s 2007 First-Year Student Survey that had more than 100 questions.

If students lose interest in a 63 question study, how can a significantly longer survey produce accurate results?

The First-Year Survey 2007 cost Ryerson approximately $6,000. The results were unrepresentative of the student population, as a disproportionate number of respondents were from FCAD and female. But even more importantly, it was far too long to expect that all students were still caring by the time they checked off question 100.

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