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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?

Step 1: Create the Survey

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
    In most cases, you'll want to select the least restrictive option here simply because you'll specifically designate your respondents in a later step. However, any restrictions you do select here will be put into effect so, for example, if you explicitly distribute the survey to all individuals listed on the attendee list but you select "Attendees only" in this field, then the no-show attendee will receive an invitation to respond to the survey but they will not be able to access the survey from eCenter, which could be quite frustrating.
  • 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.

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.

Step 2: Write the Survey Questions

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.

Step 3: Specify the Survey Respondents

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:

  1. Click View|Training Events and select the event that you want to attach this survey to.
  2. Click the Edit button.
  3. 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.
  4. Click Save
  5. Any new registrants added to the event after you have associated a pre-event survey with the event, will automatically be marked as survey candidates in the attendee list:

    The "Survey (Post)" column is not automatically updated by Neoserra since you may not want to send a post-event survey to attendees that didn't show up.

  6. You can manually select who should and who should not receive the survey from the Attendee List. 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 able to access the pre- or post-training 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. For more information on attendee lists, see the FAQ titled How do I create and manage training event attendee lists?.
  7. Before you send your email, verify one more time that you are happy with your surveuy, because once the first response has been received, you can no longer make changes to the questions.
  8. Next you will want to generate an email to all attendees who have been selected to complete the survey and let them know where they can access the on-line survey. Click the Email link and select the built-in pre- or 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.

Step 4: Collect the Survey Responses

When someone responds to a survey on eCenter, several things happen:

  • Your 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?).
  • 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 bar graph format; and the summary responses are shown in the summary right-hand panel:

    All survey response reports can be found under Activity|Survey Responses and then click the Reports link.

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.