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E-Books or Print?

Are you an eBook person or a physical book person? (Or are you a rebellious audiobook person?)


This is a question you may have been asked before.


But have you ever wondered how people are most likely to take our surveys? Are your residents more paper survey-takers, phone survey-takers, or computer survey-takers?


Let’s find out!


First things first... Our data shows that more people are taking surveys – period. From 2019 to 2020, the total number of School Perceptions surveys increased 16%!


Question 1: Do survey-takers take our surveys online or by paper?


Remember that School Perceptions works with you to collect the addresses of all households within a district. Once a household receives a paper survey, they have two options:

  1. Use the one-time-use alphanumeric access code to take the survey online.

  2. Fill out the paper copy and return it directly to us.

Since 2017, about 38% of the total community survey responses we’ve recorded have been through paper copies.


Looking at this a little differently, on average, about 8% of survey-takers choose to fill out a paper copy and return it to us, and about 92% of survey-takers choose to complete the survey online.


The proportion of people who choose to use the paper copy varies, however, depending on how long the survey is.

  • When a survey is four pages, 13% of people use the paper copy.

  • When a survey is eight pages, 9% of people use the paper copy.

  • When a survey is twelve pages, 6% of people use the paper copy.

(Remember! This is different than response rates! For context, our response rates for community surveys has increased the last few years. We’re seeing about 22 to 24% response rates recently.)


If surveys are not returned on paper, that leaves one option: online. That begs our next question...


Question 2: What do people use to take surveys online?


In 2019, 13% of our surveys were taken on an iPhone. In 2020, that number increased to 22%.


Eight percent of the surveys taken in 2019 were done on an Android mobile device, a number that increased to 12% in 2020.


Windows computers took the lead with 44% in 2019 but went down to 36% in 2020. In 2019 and 2020, 10% of surveys taken were done on Mac computers.

Next week, we'll focus on time. When do people take surveys, and how long does it actually take?


The School Perceptions Blog and Resource Center features the voices of our team members. This post was written by Lindsey Naze, Data Analyst, and Tim Mikula, Vice-President of Technology.

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