What I’ve Got: HUDS Salad Survey

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In an environment obsessed with online data collection and analysis (Qualtrics, Google Forms, etc.) —  I think we often forget about the convenience and power of pencil and paper. The greatness of this “Would you prefer the salad to be dressed of not dressed?” survey from the HUDS team in Mather, is it’s immediacy to the matter at hand. As I was sliding my tray down the salad bar, I was more than happy to make a quick check on this piece of paper. I was already thinking about salad and about to eat some — so it was the ideal moment to ask me about my preferences. Over the span of 2 hours on a Wednesday, this survey received 36 responses. That’s pretty good in terms of undergraduate participation. I cannot image a salad survey sent over the house list yielding the same results. I think the valuable lesson here is to tailor your data collection methods to the matter at hand because there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Moreover, the old-fashioned simplicity of paper and pencil is not necessarily a bad thing!

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