Most surveys promise to keep your identity confidential — but are you sure they do?
Ansanon: When You Want the Truth
Ansanon for Students is a new web-based survey tool engineered to gather uninhibited, candid student (and staff) feedback more effectively than the many confidential — but not anonymous — survey systems used in higher education today. Our difference: Ansanon uses truly anonymous surveys, so respondents know their identities cannot possibly be linked to their self-reports of behavior and experiences, evaluations of campus leaders and activities, climate assessments, satisfaction, likelihood of enrollment or any other potentially sensitive measurement topics.
Ansanon uses physical, unique survey keys distributed via peel-off stickers (for one-shot surveys) or plastic cards (when multiple surveys are planned for the same respondent panel). These survey keys are distributed to your students and/or staff such that nobody knows who received any specific key, to ensure user anonymity. It’s how we avoid gathering any identifying information from respondents while ensuring only qualified people can log into the survey.
Most other survey firms and tools offer only confidentiality. Researchers know your identity but promise not to reveal it to anyone else. Survey participants feel only as safe as the limits of their trust, and that’s a real problem if, perhaps, your school is trying to measure trust and suspicious or skeptical students (or staff, if an employee survey) don’t participate. Survey scientists call that “nonresponse bias” and it can seriously damage your survey’s power and validity.
Sexual violence (both prevention and response) is a critical problem facing colleges and universities today, as are alcohol and drug abuse and other risky behaviors of students. To gauge the extent of these problems on your campus and in your community — and to guide your efforts to defeat those problems — you need to hear from your students and staff. But that’s not enough. To be useful, you need to hear the truth from them, especially when you’re asking for candid reports of sensitive or unflattering conduct or activities.
More and more government agencies (federal, state and local) are requiring mandatory campus climate surveys. If your school already is participating in these measurements, consider the value of gathering your own, in-house data as a “sneak peek” at what a follow-on standardized climate survey may reveal. Avoid surprises — and take better care of your students in the process!
Ansanon for Students is a web-based platform. No apps are required on smartphones or computers to use it — just a connection to the Internet. Once your school’s survey has been launched, you may check both participation trends and item-by-item results from your client dashboard. Following results in real time often can foreshadow what your final results will show.
With all the survey invitations we receive and must work into our life schedules, it’s absolutely essential to make a questionnaire as short and user-friendly as possible. The Ansanon platform employs best-practice features to minimize the effort required from respondents. Conditional question branching helps ensure people see only the questions they need to see and answer. Lists of items to be rated are, by default, randomized to control for order effect.
Truly Flexible, and
Ansanon for Students can be different things depending on your school’s needs. Smaller schools — especially those without Institutional Research offices — may turn to us to deliver turnkey research support. We will meet with your team, develop the questionnaire, assist with fielding the survey, analyze the data and report results back to you. We also will help you navigate any Institutional Review Board (IRB) requirements and documentation, though in almost all cases Ansanon surveys will be judged “exempt” from IRB review (because our surveys are truly anonymous, no harm can come to respondents from their identities being revealed).
And if your institution is a larger school, with in-house research offices and capability, we still can help you gather more candid, trustworthy data through our proprietary Ansanon platform. You provide the questionnaire, we program and field it, then we give you the dataset for your own analysis and reporting. Our involvement in your research effort is fully scalable.
Ansanon can help you gather more trustworthy data from any target stakeholder group at your institution — the entire student body, students within a particular department or discipline, students in certain activities or clubs, residents in campus housing, or even students within a particular class. Our truly anonymous measurement also is very appropriate for gauging the experience of visiting new-student recruits, who often are reluctant to share critical feedback in an identifiable setting for fear of damaging their standing in the recruit pool.
Ansanon’s deeply experienced research scientists bring well-equipped statistical toolboxes to the task. While most survey firms provide topline results, and some even go the next step with bivariate analyses, the Ansanon team employs multivariate techniques to dig into the data more thoroughly and aggressively. We work hard to deliver maximum return on your data-collection investment.
Ansanon for Students is ideal for conducting repeated measures over time, such as surveys at the beginning and end of a term or school year. When it’s important to demonstrate “needle movement” from policy changes, communication campaigns or other interventions, this approach is very robust.
Truly Satisfied Clients
Present and past Everett Group and Ansanon Clients
The price for any given Ansanon for Students survey is driven mainly by number of questions, types of questions and number of survey iterations (one-shot versus repeated measures). Surprisingly, the number of survey keys distributed and responses gathered is not a significant cost driver — it generally requires the same amount of effort to analyze 500 or 5,000 responses. Our goal, for all clients but especially for smaller schools, is to deliver rigorous, trustworthy and defensible survey results for less than $10,000 per study. With Ansanon for Students, data quality is a mindset, not a cost multiplier.
You might be wondering — who are the people behind Ansanon, and what are their qualifications? The tools have been developed by senior social scientists of the Everett Group (www.everettgroup.com), very experienced audience researchers with a successful 20-year track record of work for government and commercial clients. We’ve designed and fielded hundreds of surveys and focus groups, mainly for the U.S. Air Force Office of Public Affairs and for NASA. Our senior staff members each have more than 30 years of experience in the survey and opinion research field and have helped lead the industry as officers in preeminent professional research organizations. We’ve also taught opinion and survey research methods and concepts for many years at major universities. We know our stuff.
Ansanon® is a new name in the research business, but the developers and creators of the platform are not. Since 1999, Dr. Steve Everett and his Everett Group associates have designed and performed stakeholder and audience research for a broad range of clients large and small, governmental and commercial.