Home > BLOG 3, Capstone > Blog 3: Community Information Surveys

Blog 3: Community Information Surveys

As many of my classmates would agree, the assignment to have 30 non undergraduate Columbia citizens complete a 66 question survey seemed challenging.  Not because 30 is a large number or because the survey was difficult, but because people are, for lack of a better term, lazy. I thought to myself, ‘why would a stranger want to take 10 minutes out of their day to help me out when I am sure they are just as busy and crunched on time as I am?’ Although I had a few people turn me down, my attempts to complete the assignment were an overall success. Keep in mind, my main target audience were Mizzou faculty and staff so maybe they felt obligated to help out a student.  But then I realized that over my college years, I have taken many capstone surveys, whether I knew the students or not. I think a lot of people would have said no to a survey if I wasn’t standing in front of them asking politely.  But a little voice in our heads speaks up and spits out the ‘golden rule,’ treat others as you would like to be treated.  With that in mind, I participated in at least two surveys/studies in the last month. If I expect others to complete my survey, I need to do my part and return the favor to someone else in the community.  That being said, I think it was an overall good experience.  Asking people to take a survey seems like a simple task but it does take time and patience.  Yes, it was a hassle at the time (especially entering all 30 into SurveyMonkey) but it was also a learning experience.  I found it quite interesting to witness who was and wasn’t willing to take the survey.  It was also beneficial to physically hand them out and be present for any questions volunteers had.  It gave me a better idea of what people think about Columbia as a community and their opinion of available information because they discussed the survey and its contents with me.


  1. October 19, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    Good post Sarah. You are right about the golden rule. It’s like when you work as a waiter, you always leave other waiters really good tips, and when you are a researcher and/or a student, you always help others with their research. I’m glad to read that you found some value in observing who would and wouldn’t help. The more of these type of tasks you do, the more you understand what will and will not work.

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