How To Get Better ResLife Microsurvey Response Rates For Real Time Assessment

Roompact’s Microsurveys tool is one of the more interesting and unique features available on our platform. Microsurveys allows you to send brief, one-question surveys to your residents. Residents can respond with answers that are open text, on a likert scale, or multiple choice. These surveys can also be sent via email or text message. They are perfect for rapid polling of your resident population. Some of the more common topics campuses use Microsurveys for include:

  • Beginning of the year check-ins (about roommates, the move-in process, etc.)
  • Retention-related questions (about accessing resources, looking for warning indicators, etc.)
  • Intentional conversations prompts (to check in on students)
  • Post-crisis/emergency situations (to check on wellbeing and/or plans)
  • Closing and move-out questions (about intended move out dates and plans)
Microsurvey examples

Looking at the response rates to microsurveys across all of Roompact’s campuses, the mean and median response rates are around 30%. This is a solid response that is even better when you consider this survey is sent once and data is collected almost instantaneously. Depending on the question asked, rates can go even higher.

To be successful in using Microsurveys, it’s important to understand what the tool is best suited for. Given that it is only one question, and can be distributed via text message, the tool is more useful for certain kinds of questions. Additionally, response rates can increase when the question is better suited to the format. So what are microsruveys best suited for?

  • For quick real-time data to inform decisions (as opposed to longitudinal surveying)
  • For easily understood one-question topics
  • For “pulse checks” and gathering the current sentiment of your residents.

Unlike other longer-form surveys, where Microsurveys really shines is in its ability to rapidly collect data in real time. This can allow for a more responsive department that can pivot to meet the emergent needs of students. Microsurveys also allow you to analyze answers in aggregate and on an individual student level. With this data you can change overall practice and provide individualized student support.

When using Microsurveys, here are some tips to get you started…

1. Choose The Right Question

Think about the question you want to ask and if the microsurvey format is the best method to collect your answers. Is your question timely? Do you have a need for the data immediately to inform your practice? Does it allow for individual student follow through? Are you ready to take action on the data as soon as you receive it?

2. Email or Text?

Microsurveys can be sent out via text or email. There is also an option when sending a microsurvey via text to “email recipients without phone numbers on file.” Your Roompact Advisor can let you know how many residents have phone numbers on file and if text messaging may be a viable option.

3. Keep It Brief And Clear

Microsurveys has a built in character limit in part because of the option to send them via SMS text. Keeping your question brief and clear can aid recipients in rapidly digestion the question and more easily selecting their response. Spend time to pare down your question to the most succinct it could possibly be.

4. Use It In A Targeted Way

Survey fatigue is also a phenomenon when it comes to microsruveys. A good rule of thumb may be to run no more than 3-4 campaigns per semester. (Although some campuses have had success running limited weekly campaigns.) Using Microsurveys in a consistent manner can help residents understand what they are, when they are sent, and how they are used.

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