How do I create and distribute training event surveys?
There are two different types of surveys you can create in Neoserra for posting to eCenter Direct: client surveys and training event surveys. While the basic steps for creating surveys is the same for each type, this FAQ will focus on creating and distributing training event surveys. For more information about client surveys, please refer to the FAQ titled: How do I create, post and advertise client surveys?
In this FAQ we will discuss the following topics:
- Create the Survey
- Write the Survey Questions
- Specify the Survey Respondents
- Collect the Survey Responses
A sample "Training Evaluation Event" survey is provided in Neoserra that can either be used as-is, or you can copy it and modify it to meet your needs. Alternatively, you can create your own survey from-scratch.
To begin creation of a survey, select View|Surveys. Click the New button to create a brand new survey. You will be asked to provide a name for your survey and the type of survey that you want to create. For purposes of this FAQ, select "Training Event" type:
When you designate a survey as a training survey, it can be associated with training event records as a pre- or post-training survey, allowing it to be easily distributed to members of the training event record's attendee list.
You can decide whether you will be create a blank survey, or copying an existing survey.
Click "Save" to save your settings and this will take you to the survey record where you can update the following fields:
- Status. While still designing your survey, it's a good idea to set the survey definition record's status to "Inactive" to ensure that nobody sees the unfinished product. However, once you're ready to publish the survey to eCenter, you must change its status to "Active".
- Core survey? Only available to Neoserra administrators, this checkbox allows you to save the survey as a core survey. A core survey is a survey that can be embedded within other surveys. It can stand on its own as well, but the ability to embed saved core surveys allows you to use the same block of questions across multiple surveys. This option is generally speaking not used for Training Event surveys.
- Survey Embedded. If you're basing your new survey on a core survey, select the name of the core survey from this field's drop-down menu. Again, this feature generally speaking isn't used within Training Event surveys. For more details refer to the FAQ titled: What is a core survey?.
- Publication. The options under this field include:
- Any logged in eCenter user
- Attendees only
- List members only
- Waitlisted/Registered/Attended Members only
- Limit Responses. From this field's drop-down menu, you can either select to limit responses to "Only one response allowed" per survey respondent or you can allow an unlimited number of responses by selecting "Multiple Responses Allowed.". Note: For training event surveys you will generally speaking want to select "Multiple Responses Allowed" to allow attendees to respond to the same survey distributed after multiple events.
- Centers. If you would like the survey to be available for use by other centers in your program (assuming you have multiple centers), select those centers.
- Skipped Question Handling. If you are planning on adding conditional logic to your survey, do you want any skipped questions to be shown as being skipped, or do you want Neoserra to renumber your survey for you? You should always choose "Show the questions as skipped" if you reference question numbers in your questions. In other words, if you create your own question that says something like: "Based on your answer in question X, do you feel..." then you should make sure that you retain the numbering throughout the survey.
- Top of Survey. Any text entered here will display at the very top of the survey. Typically, this field is used to instruct respondents on how to complete the survey. This field supports HTML formatting.
Note: While the built-in questions for awards, capital funding and milestones are available on the training survey definition screen, it is NOT recommended that these are used for training event surveys. Since training surveys may be mailed to attendees that are not associated with a client record, these questions will not be consistently included for all attendees. Neoserra and eCenter Direct will suppress these questions if the attendee is not associated with a client record.
Once created, survey definition records can be used repeatedly. For example, if you issue a standard satisfaction survey after each training event, you need only create the survey definition once and then apply it to all future conferences.
After saving the survey definition record, you are presented with the Survey, as shown below. To write custom survey questions, click the New link found under at the bottom right of the screen:
For each question you add, you are prompted for the response type, the question text, as well as whether or not the question is mandatory (mandatory questions are bolded on the survey). There are 10 different response types to choose from. It's important to note that only four of the 10 response types can be tracked on scorecards—these are pointed out in the bulleted list below. (For more information on scorecarding survey questions, see the FAQ titled How do I scorecard survey questions?.)
Each response type is outlined next:
- Single-line text (up to 250 characters). This response type allows respondents to enter up to 250 free-form text characters when answering this question.
- Multi-line text (up to 8000 characters). This response type allows respondents to enter up to 8000 free-form text characters when answering this question.
- Numeric response. This response type only allows respondents to enter numerals when answering this question. Because this is a numeric response type, responses to this question can be tracked on scorecards.
- Currency response. This response type only allows respondents to enter a currency value (i.e. numerals) when answering this question. Because this is a numeric response type, responses to this question can be tracked on scorecards.
- Date response. This response type only allows respondents to enter a date value when answering this question.
- Electronic Signature. This response type allows you to capture a client's electronic signature in a non-editable format in the survey record. Note, that this field is not tied to the eCenter signature field on the client record, but functions similarly. It allows you to capture a client's agreement to a statement put forth by you.
- Yes/No response. This response type only allows respondents to select a "Yes" or "No" when responding to the question. Under the hood, Neoserra assigns all "Yes" responses a numeric value of "1" and all "No" responses a numeric value of "0." This auto-assignment allows you to track this question on scorecards.
- Single-select multiple choice from list. This response type requires you to predefine a list of responses for the respondent to choose from. For example, the question could be "How did you hear about us?" and, for the answer, you put together a list of five possible choices. Because this field is a single-select field, your respondent is restricted to only one selection.
- Single-select numerically-based choice from list. This response type requires you to predefine a list of responses for the respondent to choose from as well as a numeric value that Neoserra will assign under the hood. For example, the question could be "How do you rate our services?" and, for the answer, you put together a list of four possible choices that range from "Poor" to "Excellent." Because you have manually assigned a numeric weight to each response choice, responses to this question can be tracked on scorecards.
- Multi-select multiple choice from list.This response type requires you to predefine a list of responses for the respondent to choose from. For example, the question could be "Please select all of the following business attributes that apply to your company:" and, for the answer, you put together a list of 20 possible attributues. Because this field is a multi-select field, your respondent can select as many attributes as applicable.
- Label without a response. This is not a response type at all. Rather, it allows you to add text at various points of the survey for the purpose of organizing or clarifying survey questions.
As you add questions, notice that you can edit or delete questions and you can reorder the questions using the link at the top of the screen.
Optionally, you can include conditional logic on each question. Conditional logic allows you to implement "if....then" logic in your surveys. For example: "If you are dissatisfied, then please tell us what you didn't like." The second half of this question, obviously, is not applicable if the client was very satisfied with training, so we only want to ask it if the client has told us that they as disatisfied.
To add conditional logic you first have to create the condition. You can do this in the "Logic" pane in the right hand panel of the training survey interface:
Click "New" to create your conditional logic. In our example, we want to base the condition on the "Dissatisfied" answer:
Now that the condition has been created, we can apply it to our next question to be created:
This question will only appear if the client answers "Dissatisfied" to the previous question. This follow-up question will not show if the client was either "Satisfied" or "Very Satisfied." Below, you will see two instances of the same survey. In the first screenshot you will see that question #2 is not yet displayed because the condition has not yet been met. As soon as the respondent answers "Dissatified" the second question appears as you can see in the second screenshot:
It's very important that you preview the survey on eCenter before advertising it to potential respondents. To do this, make sure that the survey status of "Active - Public" and then simply click the "[Preview]" URL that displays in the right hand panel. This will take you directly to a preview version of the survey. In preview mode you can see what the survey looks like, but you cannot actually respond to the survey.
Once you have entered all your survey questions and made it Active, you must now update your training event attendee list and determine who should complete the survey.
Unlike client surveys, survey respondents for training event surveys are not specified from the survey definition record. Rather, they are specified from the training event record.
However, before you do this, make sure your survey is exactly the way you want it! Once you start receiving survey responses, you can no longer make changes to the survey!
The steps for creating a survey request list for training event surveys are outlined next:
- Click View|Training Events and select the event that you want to attach this survey to.
- Click the Edit button.
- Scroll to the two survey fields on the training event record, and select the survey definition record as either the pre- or post-training event survey for the training event.
- Click Save
- Pre-Event Survey:
- Any new registrants added to a future event after you have associated a pre-event survey with the event, will automatically be marked as survey candidates in the attendee list if the pre-event survey email is successfully sent to them.
When an attendee signs up for an event via eCenter Direct, and the event has a pre-survey event associated with it (at the time of their sign-up), then the pre-event survey email is automatically sent and the checkbox is updated accordingly:
When a new registrant is added to the attendee list via Neoserra using either the training event "New" option or using the contact More|Training Event menu option, then you can choose not to send the survey email, in which case neither the email is sent nor is the checkbox marked.
If you set up a scheduled email from the event record to send a reminder email about the pre-event survey, then only those registrants with a checkbox will receive the follow-up email, and only those that have not yet responded to the pre-event survey.
You can manually overwrite who should and who should not receive the survey from the Attendee List by clicking the Edit or Batch links at the top of the list. Using the Edit option you will be able to select one-by-one who you would like to be included in your pre-event survey. Using the Batch option, you will be able to select a group of attendees and include them, en masse, to the survey request list.
- Post-Event Survey:
- The "Survey (Post)" column is automatically updated by Neoserra when you send the members of the attendee list a post-event survey. You can do this either manually or using the scheduled email option.
If you send the survey using the scheduled email option then your request list will consist of the group that matches your selection:
This group will be instantly marked with a checkbox in the attendee list when the email gets sent, and they will be your request list against which your response rate will be measured. If an email, to one of the recipients, bounces back, then the recipient will NOT be marked with a checkbox and they will not be part of the request list. If/when this group responds to your survey, the checkbox will be changed to a thumbs-up icon:
Those with a thumbs-up icon represent your respondees. Hovering over the thumbs-up icon will allow you to quickly see their responses to your survey. You can see the aggregate responses at the bottom of the training event record.
If you decide to use the "Email" option above the attendee list to send your post-event survey, then the same concept applies. Whoever you send the survey to, will be marked with a checkbox, and whoever responds to the survey will be marked with a thumbs-up icon. Click the Email link and select the built-in post-survey survey request e-mail. The built-in email templates available for advertising training event surveys contain auto-login URLs for each individual recipient so that they are taken immediately to their survey:
Note:Keep in mind that this [CONFERENCE_ECENTER_URL_AUTOLOGIN] substitution variable uniquely ties this specific survey to this specific event for each registrant based upon the setting in step 3 above. You can create additional email templates with this same substitution variable but only for post-event surveys. This substitution variable is not supported in custom pre-event survey templates.
Regardless of whether you send the surveys manually or via the scheduled email option, those individuals who already responded to the survey will not receive a second request for the survey.
You can also manually overwrite who should and who should not receive the survey from the Attendee List, however, this may have limited success. You can click the Edit or Batch links to edit the settings of the attendee list members. Using the Edit option you will be able to select one-by-one who you would like to be included in your post-event survey. Using the Batch option, you will be able to select a group of attendees and include them, en masse, to the survey list. However, be aware that the scheduled post-event email will only go to the group selected in the scheduled email configuration. Furthermore, if you manually select who should and who should not receive the survey but then you send an email, this email may change some of your selections depending upon who is included in the email. In other words, the automated setting of the checkbox via the email functionality, will overwrite your manual selections.
When someone responds to a survey on eCenter, several things happen:
- The client's center will be notified via e-mail whenever a new survey response arrives from eCenter (these notifications are customizable on a per-database or per-center basis as discussed in the FAQ titled How do I customize the eCenter (and Neoserra) e-mail messages?). In fact, you may want to consider customizing the "Survey Response Notification (Conference Survey)" and have the survey responses go to the [CONFERENCE_POC_EMAIL] instead.
- A new survey response record is created in Neoserra and the attendee list will be updated with a "thumbs-up" icon next to the attendee who has responded. Hovering over the individual icons provide you with the details of each attendees' response:
- The collective responses are shown below the attendee list in a pie chart format; and the summary responses are shown in the summary right-hand panel:
All survey response reports can be found at the top of the Survey Responses.
NOTE: Neoserra supports both electronic surveys as discussed in this FAQ and paper-based evaluation forms. If you distribute hard-copy evaluation forms at the end of your training event and you are looking to tallying the responses received to your training evaluation, then this FAQ is not for you. Instead, please refer to: How do I create a hard-copy, training evaluation form?
Want more? Browse our extensive list of Neoserra FAQs.