ellie <3 libraries

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Green assessment May 28, 2008

Filed under: Questions for the hive — ellie @ 3:51 pm

My Emerging Leaders group has been charged with (among other things) designing an assessment instrument – specifically an email survey to be sent after conference. We strongly suspect that people would be more likely to fill out a short paper form right then and there, but there is a green initiative for this conference pushing us towards using something electronic.

Ideas we’re throwing around:

  • Half slips of paper with the promise to recycle
  • A combination – a longer emailed survey and a shorter paper slip with something like: “What was the best thing about ACRL 101?” and “What would you change for next time?”
  • Instead of slips of paper there’s just a notebook hanging around for comments, or a white board or easel or something…
  • Go with electronic – the extra responses aren’t worth the environmental impact
  • Go with electronic – the response rate won’t actually vary much

I’d love to hear what anyone else thinks or has done in the past.

ETA – As a clarification: our survey is just for our little program (ACRL 101), not the whole conference so we would have handed you the paper survey as you walked in and asked you to fill it out before you leave, with the idea that people are more likely to bother filling it out in the moment and more likely to ignore an email invitation to a survey later, but there are a number of good arguments here and I’m all for source reduction, so I think I’m leaning towards “the extra responses aren’t worth the environmental impact.”

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6 Responses to “Green assessment”

  1. Gretchen Says:

    I like the notebook idea! It’s like a guestbook at a b&b or something. That seems friendly, and useful, and green-ish. It might end up being a little more free form than a real survey, though. You could use the notebook to collect emails and brief comments, and then follow up with an email survey…

  2. ellieheartslibraries Says:

    Ooo, I like the idea of asking for emails, maybe they’d feel more obligated to complete the email survey then…

  3. Lisa Says:

    i saw screw it and just go with the electronic survey. either way (the notebook or just electronic) is going to leave you with holes in responses. with the notebook, people are only going to input about three sentences and yr losing out on info. with the electronic version, yr losing out on assholes that can’t make time to complete a 10 minute survey, but would waste paper to do so.

  4. In terms of my conference workflow, it’s much easier to catch me electronically after I get home. Hotels do that for me all the time, and I am very likely to fill out the surveys.

    I’m unclear when you would catch me at the end of the conference. I register at the beginning… I leave when I’m done.

    Note that a commitment to recycling includes source reduction. Recycling is o.k., but even better is not to require paper use in the first place.

    So this is clearly a vote for electronic surveys 🙂

  5. Tina Says:

    I’d strongly vote for going electronic. Remember that you have to tabulate and/or summarize these results afterward, and doing that with electronic feedback is soooo much easier and quicker than transcribing!

  6. Angelica Delgado Says:

    Just say no to anything to do with paper!

    I love/luv the whiteboard idea! But I think you’d need at least two whiteboards to avoid lines of people and then you’d need someone to record the feedback (and decipher people’s handwriting). So having said all that maybe it would be better to just go electronic.


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