Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Monona Survey

Would you share just five to ten minutes of your time to help make a better community? That’s what The Natural Step Monona, the University of Wisconsin Nelson Institute, and the City of Monona are asking you to do starting tomorrow.

On Thursday, March 31, members of The Natural Step Monona and students from the University of Wisconsin Nelson Institute start knocking on doors to deliver a short survey about the ways you and your neighbors are adopting sustainable behaviors and how you learn about conserving the natural resources that support life. They will deliver the survey over the course of a couple of weeks. You can fill out the survey on paper and mail it back via prepaid envelope or fill it out online. The online link is noted on the survey delivered to your door.This research project is a collaboration between The Natural Step Monona, UW-Madison's Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, and the City of Monona. It includes an event on May 5 at the Community Center: "Sustainable Monona 2025." You are invited. Students will share the results of the survey, the City will share information on its 25x25 Plan for Energy Independence, and you can share more of your thoughts and ideas about Monona's future, too. The event is open to the public.

The survey is anonymous and confidential, and will help all of us learn how we can make more and better progress toward a more sustainable community. So, please answer the door, participate in the survey, and join your neighbors for “Sustainable Monona 2025” on May 5!


  1. Yes, I'll do it. I hope I'm home to answer the doorbell. How did this come about? Can we just get the link and do it now?

  2. "How did this come about? Can we just get the link and do it now?"

    One of the students is a Monona resident and member TNS Monona and he got the ball rolling. No, you can't do it online because a big part of the student project is the experience of doing an in-person survey.

  3. And I'm assuming that it's a randomized survey with a statistical margin of error based on sample size. It's the difference between a poll and a questionnaire. That'd be my guess anyway?

  4. A couple of these students came to my house yesterday evening and dropped off a survey. They don't do the survey with you, just let you fill it out on your own, so no big deal. looks like something we should support. Free farmer's maket magnet, also.

  5. A survey is a survey if you include the entire group of interest in your frame. In this case, they are surveying Monona and perhaps doing it by not drawing a random sample, but including the entire population. Their response rate will be another thing entirely. If it's low (say less than 60%) then proper survey methodology would require they do a follow-up non-response survey, attempting to show whether or not the non-resonders, on key measures, differed from the responders.
    I am assuming a couple of things - first that the online version requires a "key" code found on the paper survey so that households cannot respond more than once. Second, hopefully they addressed the issue of who within the household is filling out the survey in the survey instructions.

    Further, they may indeed be using a randomized sample. Perhaps they obtained a list of addresses and chose to deliver the survey to, say, every 20th address on the list. Again, if they want validity, they'll need to deal with the non-response issue.

  6. 60% response "low?" Oh, my. A 60% response would be incredible! Many times over what one could/should expect.

    Maybe you meant to type "6%?"

  7. with a hand delivered paper survey, the response rate should be expected >50%. In online surveys, resonse rates of more like 30-40% are considered good. Non-response follow up is really important in survey validity.

  8. Those numbers sound ridiculously high to me. Do you have a source you can share?

  9. SUrvey had some poorly worded questions that do not use a lickert scale-another words the survey is loaded

  10. "SUrvey had some poorly worded questions that do not use a lickert scale-another words the survey is loaded"

    What in the world are you trying to say?

  11. poor survey design

    "Lickert scale:
    When responding to a Likert questionnaire item, respondents specify their level of agreement to a statement. "

    One of the survey questions assumes that my actions will be positive because of my knowledge of the TNS (#2). Survey asks has TNS influenced you in any ways-all the answers are positives statements. This is a so called loaded question. Some of actions quite frankly have not been positive after reading TNS material.

    Further, I am betting that the designers are also assuming causality with that question. Thus, if I am practicing sustainable actions-it is because of the TNS.

    "Causality is the relationship between an event (the cause) and a second event (the effect), where the second event is understood as a consequence of the first.[1]

    Though the causes and effects are typically related to changes or events, candidates include objects, processes, properties, variables, facts, and states of affairs; characterizing the causal relationship can be the subject of much debate."


  12. "better?"

    Yes. Much closer to the high standards weuphold around here in the spalling and grammur dEpartmunt.

  13. I think Anonymous has a lot of information about surveys but doesn't understand it or know how to apply it.

    I completed the survey online so still have the paper version. Question 2, that Anonymous says "assumes" his/her actions will be positive, states: "If you are familiar with The Natural Step Monona, has it influenced you in any of these ways?" Tell me how "if" assumes a thing?

    And just because a survey doesn't use scales, doesn't mean it's invalid. Please quit acting like an expert. It is clear that you are not.