Survey Checklist

Most surveys require the items listed below. In addition, please consult the following:

Coordinate with the HMC Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness (OIRE)

The OIRE coordinates HMC surveys and requests information about the survey’s purpose, intended audience, and desired open and close dates in order to help ensure that surveys are administered to the HMC community on a schedule that promotes response rates and avoids over-surveying students, faculty and staff. Your can view what surveys are currently scheduled on our survey calendar. OIRE is happy to provide guidance and assistance in designing, administering and analyzing surveys. Please to contact us at with any questions.

The Survey Instrument

This is a word or text document that includes the text for the welcome page text/instructions, survey questions, and text/link for the thank you page. Consider including headers to delineate sections, especially if your survey has questions that can easily be grouped, and indicate which items may be dropdowns, open text response or “check all that apply”. If your survey has incentives for participation (e.g. free coffee at the HMC café for all who participate) this should be mentioned in the welcome page/instructions. Standard information to include in instructions/welcome page can be found in the Survey Guidelines.

The Survey Codebook

This is another version of the survey instrument with variable names and values. Considering these in advance of the survey speeds up coding and analysis of your survey. Conventional survey programs (Qualtircs, Survey Monkey) can create these for you.


Question: What is your class year?
Variable name: CLASSYR
Values: Dropdown where 1959=1959…2021=2021.

Question: This semester, to what extent have courses in your major challenged you to do your best work?
Variable Name: BESTWK
Values: 1 = Never; 2 = Sometimes 3 = Often 4 = Always 0 = Not Applicable

Email Communications

Complete text for the invitations and reminders. These should include subject lines, the dates and times emails are to be sent, who the emails come from, where questions or comments should be directed, and mention the voluntary nature of survey participation. If using incentives, details should be provided in the invitation email. Sample email communications are available. Please contact us at


List of people invited to participate in the survey. This list is important for many reasons, for example knowing who and how many people were invited will help determine response rates. This list typically includes first name, last name, HMC ID, and email address. This is also an ideal time to pull or request any demographic information you will add to your survey responses (e.g., class year, gender, race/ethnicity, etc.) OIRE can help you with this. Contact with any questions. When you are considering demographic information it is important to remember that almost all surveys explicitly guarantee the participants confidentiality — they are assured (usually in the instructions) that identifying information will not be made available to anyone who is not directly involved in the survey and results will be reported in aggregate. A stricter standard is the principle of anonymity which means that the participant’s identity will remain unknown throughout the survey and results — even to the researchers themselves. Anonymity has a stronger guarantee of privacy, but it is difficult to accomplish when including demographic information.

Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

The Institutional Review Board protects the rights and welfare of humans recruited to participate in research activities conducted under the auspices of the Claremont Graduate University and Harvey Mudd College. Surveys may require approval by the IRB. Their procedures, including exemptions, are at Institutional Review Board. The IRB application process will include requests for items mentioned on this checklist.