Learn about options for accommodating survey groups that may require additional support or time.
Within groups, individual comfort with completing surveys can vary greatly based on communication and learning styles, literacy levels, personal experiences, language fluency, and a variety of other factors that affect the way we all process information.
Be sure to build a plan for young people who may need additional support when participating in the survey process. The suggestions below do not affect the validity of survey responses, but they will help increase young people's comfort and promote their clear understanding of the survey language:
1. Schedule additional time for survey completion and to address any questions that may arise.
A minimum of 20 to 30 minutes is required to complete surveys, but you may need to allocate more time. If this is a challenge, consider administering portions of the survey over two to three days. This will enable groups to focus on fewer questions at a time, which can help to minimize survey fatigue and allow for a more comfortable pacing.
2. Introduce one or two fun practice questions in order to illustrate how individual opinions can differ and that there are no right or wrong answers.
Be sure to choose a topic that interests the group and will encourage engagement. For example, you could ask, “Which do you like better: chocolate ice cream or strawberry?,” “Which season do you enjoy most: Spring, Summer, Winter, or Fall?,” or "Which job would you rather have: Teacher, Chef, Astronaut, or TV Host?"
To encourage deeper reflection, you can also ask “Why?” as a follow up to practice question responses.
3. Ensure that young people clearly understand the survey questions and response options.
You may do this by reading questions aloud one at a time, explaining each response option before you begin, and regularly checking for young people's understanding as the survey administration proceeds.
If possible, limit survey groups to a ratio of one administrator to four young people in order to allow for more individualized support.