UB is Listening


Welcome to UBListens!  This site is designed as a guide for anyone at UB interested in designing and administering a survey.  Increasing survey response rates is becoming a larger challenge at UB, so we suggest following these guidelines when planning your assessments and research.

These guidelines are designed to help offices that need to gather survey responses from students. Student email addresses provide a convenient, low-cost way to inform students about on-line surveys, but care needs to be taken to ensure that students are not annoyed by inappropriate surveys or overwhelmed by the volume of requests. In that spirit, the following guidelines are suggested:

Check to see if the data is already collected for you!


Before designing a survey, make sure the data hasn’t already been collected. This will save you time and eliminate a survey needing to be administered.  There are several places to check

Target Specific Student Populations:

  • Target surveys only to the relevant group of students. Students are more likely to respond when they understand the relevance and importance of the survey questions to them. In addition, it is important to minimize the number of surveys that any individual student might be asked to complete. If you need a list of UB students in order to collect your data contact Assessment and Evaluation in the Division of Student Life.
  • Sample only as many students as needed to ensure a reasonable sampling error. This will also help control the number of times students are asked to complete surveys. If you are not sure about how larger your sample should be try using a sample size calculator like this one: http://www.surveysystem.com/sscalc.htm.
  • Keep the email message to students concise and clear. Long email messages are ineffective and are often deleted without being read.
  • Do not use students’ official email address for market research or solicitation. Surveys designed to solicit student participation in a service or to increase student use of a product should not be administered. Student surveys should support the core mission of the University.

Increase your response rates:

  • Check your timing.  There is not a perfect time to send a survey to students, but check the major surveys timeline (insert link) to make sure you are not overlapping or completing with larger surveys being conducted at UB.
  • Use a survey tool that is secure and able to track emails to send reminders only to non-respondents. To resources at UB that can be used are Campus Labs Baseline (free to faculty/staff at UB, contact our office by email ) or Vovici .
  • Provide information in the email about the purpose of the survey and the value to the student. Students have a right to a clear description of the survey’s purpose, which should be conveyed as part of the initial email message. Also, response rates increase when a survey’s purpose and value are clearly stated.
  • Make it clear to students that their participation is optional. Students need to know that they are not required to respond to campus surveys. Class assignments that require survey participation are the only exceptions to this guideline. This message should also be conveyed in the initial email message.
  • Apply for IRB approval early.  If the project is for internal use only, then IRB approval may not be needed. If in doubt, check with UB’s IRB office to determine if you need to go through their process.
  • Ensure the confidentiality of student responses. Students should be told that their responses are confidential and will not be reported individually. Those reporting and sharing results have an obligation to ensure that an individual student cannot be identified in any reporting of survey results.
  • Clearly indicate contact information about the person and office responsible for the survey. Students, as need to know who is responsible for the survey. If students reply to their email message, the responsible office should be the recipient.
  • Send a maximum of 2 follow-up email reminders to complete the survey. We encourage limiting reminders to 1 but if 2 need to be sent space them out at different days and times in order to catch different people.

Survey Calendar

In addition, we are pleased to offer the newly created Survey Calendar for survey activity at the University.  With this survey calendar, not only can members of the university community see what surveys are happening at UB and when, but faculty, staff, and students can register their surveys, allowing them to appear on the calendar.   This facilitates the survey scheduling process and encourages collaboration on survey efforts, potentially reducing “survey fatigue.”

Access to the Survey Calendar is available to all UB faculty and staff. Simply login using your UBITName prefixed with 'ad\'  ('ad\'+[UBITName] and password) .

Survey Listing

Calendar View

To let other faculty and staff know about your survey, please enter your information here .

Survey Instruments