Quick Tips & Essential Tools

There are a number of tips & tools available to help guide evaluation practice.

This page will be updated periodically as resources are discovered and developed or subject areas are requested from the field.


Using Surveys in Evaluation
Surveys are a commonly used design to collect evaluation data. Here are some resources to developing and using this type of evaluation tool.

This webinar, presented by eXtension and Virginia Cooperative Extension, was held as a Google+ Hangout ON Air. It discussed “the way surveys can be used, the benefits of online surveys, pitfalls to avoid, and limitations.”

This University of Wisconsin Extension tip sheet provides an overview of survey procedures.

Rutgers developed a fact sheet to help evaluators decide how to choose a data collection method for survey research.


Survey Question Design

One of the most frequently asked questions by Extension faculty is how to develop survey questions. Here are some helpful tips and guides on how to write quality survey questions.

This document provides a brief overview about surveys and reviews the most frequently made mistakes when writing survey questions.

This Rutgers fact sheet, A Step-By-Step Guide to Developing Effective Questionnaires and Survey Procedures for Program Evaluation & Research, provides a comprehensive look at writing questionnaires.

Penn State Extension created a series of tip sheets about questionnaire design.


The Tailored Design Method
The Tailored Design Method (TDM) was developed by Dr. Don Dillman, a WSU professor, in the 1970’s as an improvement to mail and telephone survey design.  Its intent was to increase response rates by considering every aspect of survey fielding procedures.

Still recognized today as one of the most effective methodologies for conducting surveys, the most recent iteration of TDM can be found in the 4th edition of Dr. Dillman’s book, Internet, Phone, Mail and Mixed-Mode Surveys: The Tailored Design Method.

Additional information about the method and its background can be found on the Social and Economic Sciences Research Center’s page.