Australian River Restoration Centre

How to conduct an online survey

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Return to Stage 2 - Conduct surveys
Return to "Developing an Information and Knowledge Strategy" Quick Links Page



Surveys are the second of three lines of enquiry explored in the development of an Information and Knowledge Strategy. Two surveys are conducted - one exploring the information and knowledge needs of organisation staff (an internal survey) and the other of external stakeholders (external survey).

External stakeholders are defined as those organisations or groups with which the organisation engages and may include:

  • Australian Government agencies
  • Local government authorities
  • State government departments and/or agencies
  • Other NRM organisations
  • Research institutes (universities, CSIRO etc)
  • Indigenous groups
  • Local community groups
  • Consultants
  • Landholders
  • Local business community
  • Landcare groups
  • Schools and other educational institutions

Two template surveys (internal and external) have been developed to assist this stage. The surveys are managed using the "SurveyMonkey" online survey tool at You can simply:

  1. Take out your own SurveyMonkey subscription.
  2. Contact the Australian River Restoration Centre (ARRC) to arrange for the templates to be copied to your account.
  3. Adapt the two templates for your own surveys by adding or removing questions or adding or removing the responses that people answering the survey questions can choose.
  4. Conduct the surveys.

At the end of the Stage 1 workshop a small team was appointed to administer the surveys, including adapting the surveys to suit your organisation.

Facilitation level

Basic. The surveys are conducted with user-friendly online software that is easy to configure and operate.


  1. To understand the information and knowledge needs and requirements of organisation staff and it's external stakeholders.
  2. To understand the effectiveness of information and knowledge flows between the organisation and its external stakeholders.



Survey templates:

Draft email text for distributing the online survey links:

A guide to using the survey data:

Icon_pdf.gif  Collating, Summarising and Interpreting Survey Data: a Step-By-Step Guide Info_circle.png  

Part One of this Guide, headed 'Making Sense of Survey Data' provides some introductory information on sampling, particularly representative sampling.

SurveyMonkey software and website

SurveyMonkey software was selected for its ease of use by people who have no previous knowledge of survey design and for its cost effectiveness. You can use all the functionality of the SurveyMonkey website to view tutorials, create a survey, collect responses and compile a summary of responses or a detailed list of responses to your survey questions.

The SurveyMonkey website maintains an extensive Help menu for assistance and an email contact for their Help Centre located in the USA. An email reply to your request for help usually arrives within 24 hours.

SurveyMonkey offers you the ability to:

  • Copy an existing survey
  • Use a survey template from a selection of existing examples or
  • Create a new survey from scratch ( you can select from over a dozen types of questions (multiple choice, rating scales, drop-down menus, and more..)
  • Collect responses
  • Provide a report and analyses of your responses


If you wish to run a short one off survey of up to 10 questions and have no more than 100 responses there is no charge to use SurveyMonkey. Just register a login (your email address) and a password (of your choosing) and click on Create Survey.

As at July 2007 a recurring online subscription of $19.95 (US) per month will allow you use of the SurveyMonkey software to collect up to 1000 responses per month. This subscription constitutes a Professional account and can be paid for by charging the cost to a credit card.

Once you subscribe you will be asked to supply a login (your selected email address) and a password (of your choosing). You may agree to share a login email address and password to several NRM body staff.

Reusing surveys already developed by the Knowledge for Regional NRM Programme

If you would like to reuse one or both of the surveys designed by the Knowledge for Regional NRM Programme Team you would need to take out a Professional account subscription at $19.95 (US) per month. A copy of the survey(s) design can then be transferred from the Knowledge for Regional NRM Programme account to your own SurveyMonkeyaccount.

You may wish to use the free SurveyMonkey option to create your own survey at surveymonkey If you take this option, remember there is a limit of 10 questions for your survey and you can only accept up to 100 responses. If you would like to view a copy of the surveys designed by the Knowledge for Regional NRM team please email


It will take between 4-6 weeks to develop, collect and analyze survey results.


Design your own survey

See to select from over a dozen types of questions (multiple choice, rating scales, drop-down menus, and more..) and to view example surveys. Powerful options allow you to require answers to any question, control the flow of questions with custom skip logic, and even randomize answer choices to eliminate bias.

Then click on Create Survey button. At any time you can review the design of your survey by logging into the SurveyMonkey website, clicking on My Surveys tab and then the Design icon next to the survey you have created. You can Edit you survey at any time the survey is open.

Sending out your survey

Once you are happy with the design of your survey you can email a link to the survey to your respondents. Sending your survey via email? Putting a link on your blog? Collecting responses is as simple as copying and pasting a link to your survey. You can even stop collection automatically when you reach a date or response count that you specify.

Just go to My Surveys and click on Collect icon. Click on Add new collector button. You will be presented with a page of options asking you to choose:

How Would You Like to Collect Responses?

Create a link to send in your own email message or to place on a webpage? (SurveyMonkey will generate a link for your survey that you can just copy and paste into an email. )

  1. Upload your own emails and have SurveyMonkey send a survey invitation
  2. You can upload your emails, and SurveyMonkey will send a survey invitation on your behalf. You can customize the message that is sent, and track who responds in your list. Note: Check with your IT facility as to whether your firewall may bounce some of these messages.
  3. Create a popup invitation for your webpage. SurveyMonkey provides you with the code to generate a popup invitation on your own webpage.

Then click on Next Step button to receive further advice.

Collecting responses

All responses from your participants are collected at Just go to . Sign in with your login and password, and click on My Surveys . Look in the column next to the Analyse column and you will see the total number of responses you have received to date.

To view responses to your survey click on the Analyse icon to view the Response Summary. Click on View all pages link on right hand side of page when your survey opens to view responses to all questions.

Generating a report of survey responses

How can I share a survey I have developed?

At you can transfer a survey you have developed to another paying subscriber account. Just click on the Transfer Survey button located on the left side of the My Accounts page:

To transfer or copy your survey into another account, please follow these steps:

Step 1: Click on the My Account tab in the navigation header bar.

Step 2: Select the Transfer Survey button on the left hand side of the page.

You will need to know the username of the account into which you are transferring the survey.

Next, you will select the survey title from the dropdown menu and choose either the Copy Survey or Move Survey button. This will then place the survey into the chosen account.

If you copy the survey into another account, this will not copy the data or responses. It only copies the survey design (no collectors are copied either). You will need to move the survey if you need the responses attached.

If you have developed a survey as a free service through you will need to contact the author and arrange to obtain a copy of the survey. Copies can be downloaded as .PDF files.


It is possible to use a more traditional hard-copy survey. This will take longer to administer and compiling results will have to done manually. Online surveys reduce the amount of time required to collate and enter results.

Return to Stage 2 - Conduct surveys
Return to "Developing an Information and Knowledge Strategy" Quick Links Page

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