Questionnaire Data Collection using NCS Scan Sheets
- Whenever possible, it is best to use one of the standard, supported scan sheet forms. Custom-designed forms will add extra time and cost to your project.
- Be sure to allow enough time for developing the questions and for collecting the data.
- Keep the questions simple. Try to avoid answers that respondents might find ambiguous or indistinct from each other.
- For large projects, consider running a small pilot project first. This allows you to locate and fix possible problems before the main projects gets too far underway.
- Control the data being entered on the sheets. Provide clear instructions and a proctor whenever possible to oversee the process. Make sure that a #2 lead pencil is used, and that the response bubbles are completely filled. Stray marks must be erased before presenting the sheets for scanning, or the scanner may interpret smudges or stray marks as question responses.
- After the forms are completed, arrange all the forms such that they are aligned and facing the same direction.
- Protect the forms from dirt, water, high humidity, folding, tearing, etc. Folded, torn, or otherwise mutilated sheets may not be readable by the scanner.
- Allow enough time for the forms to be scanned. The scanner is used for many applications other than data scanning (test scoring, grade reporting, etc.) and some of these applications carry a high priority in the support of University business. Additionally, the staff that operate the scanner also operate other production computer equipment. It is recommended that you call 235-1491 well in advance of your deadline to verify availability and to establish a mutually acceptable schedule.
- The result of scanning the sheets is a data file copied onto a diskette you provide and a standard report that gives basic statistical information. The raw data file can be used with statistical analysis or spreadsheet software to create a customized report. Customized reports are "NOT" part of the normal form scanning service. Please review your needs and options early in the project. If "custom" reports are required, then make sure that you have arranged for these at an early stage in the project.
Use of Information Services' optical scanner can greatly speed the processing of data collected on NCS scan sheets and can drastically improve the accuracy of data transcription.
There are a few basic suggestions that those who wish to use the optical scanner for data collection should bear in mind: