Best practices in administering surveys
It is well-known, and a matter of established statistics that only n amount of those who take a workshop, for example, will voluntarily also complete a survey for it. Where I work, that n is usually running somewhere between thirty to fifty percent during busier times of the semesters.
A work-around could be to make the survey required to successfully complete the course. But, what to do if the workshop cannot have such a requirement? (Any best practices on this would be rather helpful to note).
I tell faculty that it helps us improve our service to them. I send them a reminder about the survey like three days later, if I can determine that they have not completed it, since our surveys can be completed anonymously, unless they choose to share an email or name at the end of it. Users can be more rest-assured that their responses will be confidential, if you include options for them to remain private; it should encourage them to offer more thoughtful answers for open-ended questions, especially.
Giving time dedicated to filling out a paper survey could be implemented in a live workshop, with the expectations that participants are using said time to complete it. There is one strategy, anyway. But, what if it is an online workshop for which there will be no grade awarded? It could be pass/fail then, and you could then passing could be contingent upon filling out the surveys, too.
Other strategies I have noted include holding a drawing for a prize for completing a survey. This isn’t something universities do often, however, due to budget constraints.
There are different types of questions that can be posed in a survey. Those that have a definitive answer include: yes/no (or dual-option) types, multiple answer questions (where one can choose only one option or where one can choose more than one option within the same question). Open-ended questions can be limited to a certain character or word count, or wide-open-ended questions that do not limit the length of responses. Finally, question evaluation questions measure one’s perspective of the preceding question.