Survey Support for Campus Units

Institutional Research, Innovation, & Strategy (IRIS) offers survey consulting and administration services to campus units and student groups, as capacity permits.

Before launching a new survey project, Notre Dame units are encouraged to discuss their needs for survey data with IRIS consultants. We might be able to answer your questions based on already available survey and corporate data, or we will provide advice on the best ways to obtain such information. Some projects may be accepted for implementation by IRIS.

Our office generally supports administrative and assessment-related research in alignment with the University’s mission and priorities. We are not able to support faculty and student scholarship projects. Examples of projects that IRIScould accept for implementation include surveys that have a University-level institutional impact (e.g., residential life or alumni surveys), surveys conducted to meet the University’s legal reporting requirements (e.g., Title IX or placement of graduates), senior management performance reviews, large-scale program assessment (e.g., First Year of Studies), and survey projects that require multi-department coordination (e.g., ImproveND). As a general rule, proposals for new survey projects need to be submitted to IRIS at least four months ahead of the proposed implementation.

For client surveys accepted for implementation by IRIS, units are advised to assign an internal project manager who will handle survey preparation on the client’s side and serve as the primary contact for IRIS. The project manager will coordinate unit involvement in survey development and reports delivery, prepare and authorize communications, and provide other materials as applicable in consultation with IRIS. All survey-related materials (survey instrument, communications, respondent lists, etc.) need to be finalized at least a week prior to the survey launch.

For studies that involve repeated survey administration (e.g., annual or end-of-term surveys), or longitudinal studies, the client must contact IRIS and confirm their plan to continue the project at least a month in advance of each survey launch if they expect no changes to the existing instrument and administration process, or at least three months in advance if the client proposes modifications.

IRIS will conduct periodic reviews of ongoing projects that involve repeated survey administration to ensure that the instrument, frequency of administration, allocation of resources, and how the results are used continues to meet the needs of the client and the University. Projects involving repeated surveys will have mandatory reviews after three years of administration, or if IRIS receives no communication from the client on a planned survey; review may result in modifications or discontinuation of the project.

IRIS will archive the instrument, raw data, and reports for completed client projects. Data from such projects, in consultation with the originating unit, may be used for strategic analysis and/or internal presentations by IRIS. For detailed policies on data sharing please consult Access to Survey Data.

The following levels of support are available for accepted projects:

Survey Phases: Design, Collect Data, Reporting/Analysis

Basic Package:

  • Design the survey instrument
  • Prepare communications
  • Collect data, secure the database, and protect the confidentiality of responses
  • Manage response rates
  • Report basic results (frequencies, means, standard deviations, and comments)

Advanced options include the basic package plus any of the following:

Design Phase:

  • Design a longitudinal study
  • Design a change measurement study (how views, self-understanding, skills, etc. change in relation to program participation or time in college)

Data Collection Phase:

  • Multiple-mode survey administration (e.g., paper and online)
  • Response bias analysis, selective follow-up with underrepresented populations
  • Advanced communication campaign to improve response rates
  • Survey incentive management

Data Reporting/Analysis Phase:

  • Breakdowns of results by demographics (e.g., by college, level, gender)
  • Weighted reporting of results
  • Longitudinal reporting
  • Combining survey data with administrative data
  • Combining data from several surveys
  • Advanced results analysis/policy proposals

Advanced options will affect survey timing and reporting of results and may involve additional IRIS staff. Depending on clients’ resources and expertise, various aspects of survey development, data collection, and reporting may be delegated to clients.