A couple of weeks ago I received a survey from the School of Kinesiology at Michigan. Go Blue! (It’s a habit). Now, I LOVE filling out surveys. I have no idea where I picked up that habit but I love doing them. If you give me a survey, there’s a good chance I’ll fill it out.
Since taking some market research classes, I’ve become critical about surveys. I’ll read a survey and then silently critique it in my head. So I get this survey from my school and they were asking for prospective students and alumni to fill it out. A lot of the questions were related to how the school is now, which is in a completely different space than where it was while I was attending, 14 years ago (what?! Lies!) and it’s been 15 years (WHAT?! SHENANIGANS!) since I applied to the University so everything has changed. While I was in school, Kines was still considered a ‘Division’ despite the fact that we were the third largest school after LS&A and Engineering and you applied to the school/division directly as a freshman and that was it. Now they have a secondary admissions process for its upper level Athletic Training, Physical Education, and Sports Management programs (and apparently SM students can pursue a dual degree with the Ross School of Business). That’s some pretty serious stuff.
But I digress, I had a problem with the phrasing of some of the questions so after I finished, I emailed the person who sent the survey and relayed my issues. And yes, as I was writing the email, I couldn’t believe I was THAT person. But I have very valid critiques.
Here’s the issue: you’re reading the questions and a lot of them were “How do you think your study of Kinesiology prepared you for your career path?” and being the literal thinker that I am, I can’t answer that because I didn’t study Kinesiology; I studied Sport Management and Communication. I know you’re sending this survey out to a wide swatch of alumni, but at least phrase the question, “How do you think your study in the School of Kinesiology prepared you for your career path?” and so the semantics issue has been eliminated. Because technically, I can’t answer these questions because I didn’t study that. So you have a flawed survey and suspect data.
Yes, I was being nitpicky, but if you’re in market research you need to have your stuff down. And if you’re letting questions like this go through, then really? I’m supposed to take this seriously? Because I won’t.
So moral of the story? Don’t send me a survey unless you’re positive your questions are air-tight.
Because you’ll hear ALL about it.