Assistance & Support

Survey Research Planning Guide

The goal of survey research is to create surveys that are user friendly, well designed, and ask the right questions.  The systematic collection of data becomes able to drive analysis towards reliability and validity.  

The Research Planning Guide is available to assist with the survey planning process.  The Guide identifies three stages in the survey research, their characteristics, and suggests a time frame for the process.  The stages are available in chart form and are summarized below:

  1. Planning and Designing a Survey

    The time frame for this stage can be from 2 to 4 weeks.  The process includes the following steps: 

    • Define the purpose of the survey
    • Identify Methodology (quantitative, qualitative) to support purpose and:
    • Identify population and sample size
    • Select method of data collection
    • Determine how the results will be used
    • Develop a timeline
    • Determine budget allocation
    • Develop and design the questionnaire
    • Pilot the questionnaire
  2. Data Collection

    Data collection, usually completed in 2 to 8 weeks, is a process that:

    • Gathers data to support the purpose and methodology.  Data could be: 
    • Descriptive data (e.g. frequencies, percentages, mode, median, mean, standard deviation) 
    • Inferential statistics (e.g. regression analysis showing which predictors are important and will weigh the predictors by level of importance)
    • Qualitative data (interviews, focus groups, open ended response surveys)
    • Invites participation and follows up with non participants

    Note: A example of a survey process, including design and data collection, is described in section Survey Resource

  3. Reporting of Results

    The reporting of results is generally completed within a 4 to 8 week time period. Prepare:

    • A customized report for formal university projects, including survey purpose, methodology, survey results, survey findings, reflections, and actions.   
    • A one page summary report for the Assessment Website.

    Faculty, administrators, and staff are available to provide assistance and support throughout the stages of survey design and administration.  They are identified in the Resource Personnel section below.

Research Approval Process

Researchers communicate with the Institutional Research Board (IRB) to seek approval prior to beginning a research study involving human subjects in any way.  More information is available at

Resource Personnel

The following Cal Lutheran personnel are available to support the survey process in the following areas: 

Resource Personnel

Research Areas

Melinda Wright

Qualtrics Survey Software Tool

Henri Mondschein

SPSS Software

Cathy Alexander

Institutional Data / Colleague

Andrea Cruz

Institutional Data / Colleague

Rodney Reynolds

Survey Design

Melinda Wright Survey Design and Administration
Melinda Wright/Andrea Cruz Sample Distribution Lists