Evaluation: Parent Survey Online Surveying Option

The National Center for Safe Routes to School offers local SRTS programs the ability to use an online version of the Parent Survey to gather parent responses.

Because the National Center's online data system now has the capability for parents to complete the Parent Survey directly online we have discontinued offering local SRTS programs the Survey Monkey option to accomplish this task.

The questions and answers below will 1) help you determine if online survey administration is appropriate for your local SRTS program and 2) provide information on how to begin using the online survey feature.

Questions and Answers

Q: Is my school a good fit for online surveying?

A: If the school communicates with parents primarily through email, electronic newsletters or other digital media, then that school may be a good candidate for using an online survey to administer your questionnaire to parents. If the school primarily sends communications to parents on paper, then administering your questionnaire using paper hard copies of the Parent Survey is the better choice.

Q:How much does it cost to use the online Parent Survey administration feature?

A: This online survey administration feature is a free service offer by the National Center for Safe Routes to School.

Q: How can I survey my parents using this online administration feature?

A: For the survey that will be administered to parents online, you first need to create a ‘survey set’ which is where the surveys will be stored once the parents complete the surveys online. This may involve you having to create a School Group and associated schools in our data system (available at: saferoutesdata.org) if the School Group or school do not already exist in the system. For instructions on setting up a School Group, adding schools and creating the ‘survey set(s)’ please follow the instructions for How to Mail Data to the National Center

Q: Do the questions differ between the paper-based Parent Survey and the online survey?

A: No, the questions and response options are the same.

Q: Are the online Parent Surveys available in multiple languages?

A: The online Parent Survey is offered in English and Spanish. If a significant segment of your school's parents primarily communicate in other languages, then the online survey may not be the best survey option.

Q: Can I add questions to the online Parent Survey?

A: Additional questions cannot be added to the existing online survey.

Q: I am working with three schools. Two schools communicate with parents via email and the other school sends home information via paper copy. Can I use the online Parent Survey questionnaire at the two schools and use questionnaire hard copies at the one school?

A: Yes, you can administer the online questionnaire at the two schools and the paper copies of the questionnaire at the one school.

For the questionnaires that will be administered to parents online, please see the answer to the question above “How can I survey my parents using this online administration feature?” above.

For paper copies of the questionnaire you collect, you can enter them yourself or mail them to the National Center for processing. For mailing, see Mailing Data to the National Center and to enter the surveys yourself, see page 5 of our Navigating the SRTS Data System document.

Q: Can I use both online surveys and hard copy surveys at the same school?

A: This is not recommended.  After you have determined the primary method (paper or email) your school uses to communicate with parents, you can decide how best to administer the survey. Please be aware that mixing survey administration methods (online and paper based surveys) at the same school during the same data collection period can result in a parent completing an electronic survey and paper based survey, which means that their responses would be counted twice in your data results.

Though the National Center does not recommend using a mixed method, if you opt to administer the survey using both the online questionnaire and paper copies then the online questionnaire responses will be instantly inputted into the data system after a parent completes the survey. The paper copies of the questionnaire can be entered by you or by the National Center:

  • Option 1: You enter the surveys into the data system yourself. Make sure you are entering the surveys into the correct Parent Survey set (i.e. the set created for the specific school and time period). See page 5 of our Navigating the SRTS Data System document for more information.
  • Option 2, you mail the hard copies to the National Center for processing. See the instructions for How to Mail Data to the National Center
Publication Year: 
11

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