Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Beyond Method # 11: Surveys and Polls

I had no idea there were so many online survey tools available, many of them free or low cost. My experience has been limited. My boss used Survey Monkey to poll our teachers about which online databases they use and want to keep. Not many people answered, and the results were ambiguous at best. Also, my school was competing for a "best place to work" contest, and we were asked to fill out an employee satisfaction survey. Since it asked you to identify your department, I answered it wondering if it was truly "confidential." My old workplace required us to complete several work evaluations online, too. Because I was the only librarian, I always wondered about confidentiality. Finally, I've been asked to participate in several evaluation surveys from my MLS program and continuing ed workshops. I usually do, sometimes with the thought, "Not another survey!"

I now realize how important surveys are and how time consuming it is to create a good one. I also like that you can use some survey software to do other things such as register for this class. I will be more willing to participate in online surveys for programs and causes I care about. I also might poll my students more often to check for understanding and to make sure my curriculum fits their needs.

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Favorite Children's Books

Some Favorite Adult Books

  • Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie
  • Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
  • Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali (memoir)
  • The Highest Tide by Jim Lynch
  • The Space Between Us by Thrity Umrigar
  • Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri