Editing the survey questions can be problematic if your survey has already been launched. If some respondents have already answered the question, changing the question can make the results difficult to interpret as respondents taking the survey were effectively answering different questions.
There are scenarios where you want to edit survey questions after the survey has launched. The following table summarizes the impact this may have on results, and the recommended approach for making the change.
|There is a spelling or grammatical error in a question||None||Update the question|
|I’d like to update a question to clarify what it means.||Minor||Update the question but ensure the edits only clarify the meaning and don’t change the meaning|
|The question referred to Department X when it should have referred to Department Y||Major||Update the question, however, take note of the results and n-size so far so that this can be taken into account when you’re reviewing results later on. Note, if the survey is an onboard or exit survey, it’s better to delete the original question from the survey and create a new question referring to the correct department. In this case the original question will not appear in the results.|
|I want to stop asking a question||Major||Edit the question’s Section field and choose the blank option at the top of the drop-down list. It will no longer appear in future surveys, but will remain in reports.|
|The question was set up as a Rating question (e.g. agreement scale) when it should have been a Single Select question||Major||Correct the question type to a Single Select question and be aware that you will not see results for any respondents that answered the question as a Rating question (it’s highly likely that these won’t make much sense anyway!)|
|I need to update one of the options in a Single Select Question to correct a spelling mistake||Minor||Make the update. As the option represents the same ‘thing’ – e.g. Manager name John Smith is corrected to be Jon Smith there will be no impact to results.|
|I need to update the Single Select question where I ask respondents to ‘select their manager’ to reflect that ‘John Smith’ has left and a new manager ‘Jane Doe’ has started||It depends||In this scenario you should take care to remove the option that you no longer want to be an option (John Smith) and add a new option that you would like to be available (Jane Doe). You should never relabel an existing option for this scenario as all of the previous results and new results will end up mixed in to the same option.|
|I’d like to add another question to the survey||None||Add the question. Just remember that the question will only be added to surveys that are yet to be submitted|
|I’d like to remove an option from a Single Select question||None||Remove the option. Remember that if respondents had already selected the option when they submitted their survey response, then the option will still appear in the reporting. If the option is yet to be selected then it will disappear from the reporting completely.|
If you following these guidelines when editing a live survey then the impact to results should be minimized. If you're ever stuck, feel free to get some advice from us at firstname.lastname@example.org.