I have already written about the research I have helped organize at my internship for Parking and Transportation Services. After sending out the surveys and catching riders of the various campus shuttles and getting our surveys back, my boss and I have encountered a problem.
On our survey, there is a question that asks riders to rank stops they use the most and another similar question that asks them to rank how they use the shuttles. These questions have proven to be a complete waste.
An EXTREMELY minimal amount of surveys were filled out correctly, rendering most of those questions worthless. Students either didn't read the question fully, didn't understand how they were to fill it out, or just didn't take the time to think about what the question was truly asking.
In my opinion, the problem arises from the length of the question and the fact that it wasn't considered just how students and others really use the connectors.
In my experience, students and others who use the connectors do it on a regular basis for a specific reason. I don't find that people who use the connectors do so randomly, they do so because they need to get to a specific place at a specific time on a specified number of days throughout the week. What I am alluding to here is that students don't stop at every stop on the connector routes and so after they have ranked the way they use the connector, ranking everything else is a moot point.
The research my department has done has been rendered basically worthless for those questions. The surveys didn't cost a great deal to print, but now my department is paying me for quite a bit of time to go through these surveys and tally all the questions, even though the results won't be a very good reflection of how students and others use the connectors regularly.
It's too bad someone didn't take the time to think about this detail before printing the surveys.