Questions & Answers

How can I use surveys?

You can use surveys to collect information from participants at different times…

  • Before the simulation – to get to know your participants better (to learn their preferences or level of background knowledge).
  • During the simulation – to get information from participants (such as votes, polls, surveys, text responses) either as a planned activity or as a way to help you make mid-course corrections.
  • After the simulation – to facilitate your debrief and reflection and get feedback to improve simulations in the future.

When you create a survey, you can decide if it is open for everyone or only specific groups and roles.

When do I create surveys?
  • Before the simulation – You can create surveys ahead of time and either queue them to release at a specific date and time or manually activate them during the simulation.
  • During and after the simulation – After the simulation starts, you might realize it would be useful to quickly gather new information from participants. ViewPoint lets you create surveys during the simulation or after it’s over.
What types of questions can I ask?

Viewpoint offers survey questions that can be answered in three different ways:

  • Radio button – allows one answer
  • Checkbox – allows one or more answers
  • Text – free response answers

Note: Sometimes you don’t know beforehand exactly what the language of the survey question will be. You can guess and draft something that you later edit during the simulation. Or, you can write generic language such as “Do you approve Resolution 1?”

How can I use the survey results?
  • ViewPoint presents the survey results in a variety of forms – raw data, tables, and graphs. You can share results with only authors and facilitators, or you can also share with participants.
  • You can also link the results of selected surveys to the activity calendar. In these cases, the results of a survey would change the calendar. For example, in a law-making simulation, the bill goes to the floor if the committee votes yes. If the committee votes no, a different set of activities is triggered.
Who can see the survey results?
  • You can limit it only to people who take the survey (“private”), or you can allow all participants to view the results (“public”).
  • You can also designate whether or not the survey is anonymous. Anonymous survey results include only totals, whereas surveys that aren’t anonymous report how each participant answered.

Use the questions below to think through the details of your simulation. 

Before the simulation

What kinds of information do you want to get from participants before the simulation?

  • Prior experience with the topic
  • Need for background materials
  • Preferences for the types of roles they might like to play
  • What participants want to get out of the simulation
  • Personal characteristics to help you get to know your participants

How will you use this information?

During and after the simulation

Are there activities that will require participants to complete a survey?

For each survey during the simulation

What questions will you ask in each survey?

Who will take each survey?
Who will see the results of each survey?
Is the survey anonymous or not?
When will the survey will take place?

After the simulation

Reflections and debriefs help participants make meaning from the experience. What questions will you ask participants to reflect on as part of your simulation debrief?

Evaluation questions will help you improve the simulation in the future. What feedback will you ask participants to provide?