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ITPSM  2003

ITPSM 2003

Subject:

Re: Survey Data Collection Software for the Web

From:

Marj Kohli <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

The EDUCAUSE Software Licensing Issues Constituent Group Listserv <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 12 Feb 2003 14:39:12 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

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text/plain (111 lines)

I talked to our stats consultant to get his input on this since we are in
the process of testing a few of these systems. Here are his comments:

*****
Here is my experience with web survey tools, particularly SPSS DEES,
Dragon Web Surveys (Filemaker add-on) and SAS web tools:
I got a chance to use SPSS' DEES (data entry enterprise server?) for
constructing and hosting a web survey and collecting data for a survey
hosted by our department of management sciences. We ran the server on
a Solaris machine and intergrated with our standard Apache web server.
The implementation and administration of the software was relatively
easy. Much good documentation was provided. However, the front end tool
used to create the web surveys, SPSS' Data Entry leaves an awful lot to be
desired. The conversion to html and java was kludgey. There was no real
way to control web appearance from the data entry software- formatting
changes had to be made by trial and error as there existed no consistent
method of controlling the web page contents.

Over the past year I have been testing a product called Dragon Web Surveys
by a company called Waves in Motion. This is a filemaker add-on that uses
filemaker's built in web server.

The overwhelming drawback, from an administrative standpoint, is that the
software *only* works with filemaker's web server. This poses a couple of
hazards for us since we don't employ anyone to maintain or upgrade
filemaker software, or with expertise on potential security issues with
the filemaker web server.

That being said, I am much more impressed with this product than I was
initially since using it with an administrative survey on campus. There
were some limitations, sure, but I like the administrative interface
(which is run through filemaker) and I *really* like the fact that
formatting can be controlled completely through cascading style sheets.
Once I applied a patch to filemaker's web server, there were no problems
with server performance. Surveys can be created and deployed in a short
period of time using the logically-constructed interface.
The other drawback to this software though is its current inability to
export directly to SPSS, SAS or any stats package. The export is to excel
only, and I had to manually add info (like variable and value labels) that
was not supported by the dragon software. However, Waves in Motion has
expressed a willingness to improve that end of the product.

I've played around extensively with SAS' Intrnet software. SAS currently
has no predesigned web survey toolkit that I have found- you basically
would have to build one yourself using the various Intrnet components. If
I had time and motivation, I would give it a try. The Intrnet package is
basically a set of functions and procedures that allow you to construct
SAS web applications on a designated web server and SAS server. There
would have to be sufficient SAS expertise available to make this fly.

I'm curious about Perseus and some of the other newer versions of vendor
web survey solutions. I'd be quite happy to chat and share information
about other web survey findings.

Jack Cooper - Information and Systems Technology University of Waterloo
*******

Regards..

Marjorie Kohli
Site License Coordinator
Information Systems and Technology
University of Waterloo
Waterloo, ON Canada N2L 3G1

At 05:48 PM 10/02/2003 -0800, Stafford Cox wrote:
>I would like to know how other campuses are handling faculty requests
>for survey data collected over the web. Has anyone considered using
>survey services/survey providers? If so, which ones?
>
>If you are generating home grown solutions, what are you using and how?
>
>Or, are you letting your faculty find their own solutions rather than a
>centralized campus solution?
>
>We have site licenses for Microsoft FrontPage, FileMaker Pro and SAS
>software to build web pages to collect data, but staffing is an issue.
>
>We do not have the SPSS web-based product and I'm wondering if it's
>worth considering.
>
>Comments please?
>
>Thank you.
>Stafford
>
>--
>****************************
>Stafford G. Cox, Ph.D.
>Campus Site License Coordinator
>Academic Computing Services
>California State University, Long Beach
>1250 Bellflower Boulevard
>Long Beach, California 90840
>(562) 985-7801
>[log in to unmask]
>
>**********
>Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent
>Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/memdir/cg/.

Marjorie Kohli
Site License Coordinator
Information Systems and Technology
University of Waterloo
Waterloo, ON Canada N2L 3G1
(519)888-4567, x2014     Fax: (519)884-4398   http://www.ist.uwaterloo.ca/~marj

**********
Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/memdir/cg/.

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