Question: Assuming no school prohibitions on doing so, why would you not design the proposed survey in the proposed survey tool, and include screenshots of the survey in the proposal?

Background: I edit dissertations and students are increasingly asking for formatting guidance for their proposed surveys. The handbooks from the schools of interest have no guidance other than that the design be approved.

Consequently, I am wondering why I've never seen a proposed survey presented from screenshots of the actual survey tool; but I've also never seen a prohibition on it. Instead, I always see a mock-up using Word or Excel.

My guess (and that's all it is) is that maybe no one mocks it up in the actual survey tool because--as part of the proposal process--the reviewer(s) might recommend another tool. So mocking it up in the actual tool could be a waste of time.

Note: I realize my question is rife for opinion rather than a black-and-white answer. But I couldn't think of any other way to ask it. To recap, assuming there are no school prohibitions on doing so, why would you not design the proposed survey in the proposed survey tool, and include screenshots of the survey in the proposal?

closed as primarily opinion-based by user2768, user3209815, Scientist, corey979, Brian Tompsett - 汤莱恩 Nov 22 '18 at 21:03

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    The question is in the title of the post. But I see your point. I'll edit the text to repeat the questions. – RJo Nov 21 '18 at 21:55
  • @Bryan - I'm glad you asked, because when I was rewriting the text, I realized the question needed expanding. See the updated post. I hope this helps you and others help me. If not, well, I'll edit again! – RJo Nov 21 '18 at 22:15
  • Thanks for the update; you may still want to edit your title to make sure it has a clear question, since this tends to attract better attention that is more helpful. I think this sort of question could possibly be seen by the community as too opinion-based, but I think it's possibly answerable enough to stay, and survey research is not in my area of expertise so I will defer to everyone else. – Bryan Krause Nov 21 '18 at 22:17
  • @Anyon - sorry I did not see your title edit before making my own. In any case, I'm confused by your reference to "rarely" in my post because I did not use that word anywhere. – RJo Nov 21 '18 at 22:37
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    Because it is easy to edit the text in Word or Excel and copy / paste into whatever tool once cooments from the supervisor are included. – Solar Mike Nov 22 '18 at 3:49

Students use the tools they are most comfortable with. If the excercise does not limit the tools, then that is only right. In my field (sociology) most of them have put many many many more hours in Word or Excel then in some survey tool, so if this were an excercise for my students I would expect to see the pattern you report. If I wanted them to get experience in the survey tool, I would need to change the text of the exercise to require them to use that tool.

  • @ Maarten Buis - Excellent logic; i.e., to tie it back to the learning objectives. – RJo Nov 24 '18 at 18:36

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