Sunday, May 5, 2013

LEADERSHIP: Annual Education Survey - JUST DO IT!

I am a HUGE fan of data driven decision making. It's a term we use in education to provide reasons for why we make particular educational choices. I firmly believe that if you want to know what people are interested in knowing more about, what ministries they prefer or don't prefer to participate in, and what they think about the current or most recent educational choices, you should ask. I believe that leading sheep where they don't want to go gets two results: 1) the shepherd ends up pushing from behind, which is not leading, and/or 2) the shepherd ends up standing in a field by himself. While there are always things the leadership is responsible to decide, people like choices and they like to know they are heard. If people are not participating in Christian education classes it's also wise for leadership to find out why and not just guess.

To that end I strongly recommend that the leadership create an annual survey and the end of each year and with technology what it is now it's certainly not hard. Here are a few options:
  • Survey Monkey - you can create a 10 question survey with 100 responses for free or pay a fee for something more. To see the limited options for free surveys look here.
  • Kwik Surveys - you can create free surveys but options are limited if you don't pay a fee. To see the limited options for free surveys look here.
  • Google Form in Google Drive - This product may be a little less ostentatious than the other two but just as effective and easy to use. A survey of any length can be created and added to a website and responses will automatically be added to a spreadsheet in your Google Drive. You need to create a Google account and start your DRIVE. Click on CREATE, FORM. I caution you to plan your survey by creating a flow chart before you start creating it so the answers are kept in order in the spreadsheet.  
The survey can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be. Check out my sample survey created in Google forms. Instead of wondering why people aren't attending or why they go to one Bible study over another, find out! If you want to know how to copy my form so you can edit it for your use, please let me know and I'll tell you how.

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