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Guidelines for RAC Surveys

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Guidelines for RAC Surveys

The AASHTO-RAC listserv can be utilized to solicit information from other state DOT representatives regarding practices, policies, specifications, etc.

Once completed, the surveys and survey results can be posted in the RAC Survey Results database.

Below are some general guidelines to assist you in putting together an effective survey and distributing it to other DOT representatives. For more detail on developing a survey instrument, see Guidelines for Web-Based Questionnaires by the University of Maryland's Laboratory for Automation Psychology and Decision Processes.

  1. For the E-mail survey notice, it is recommended that you include the topic being surveyed and the due date in the Subject line.
  2. Provide the context — include a brief summary of the problem that the DOT is facing.
  3. Reference the specific topic area within the DOT that should respond to the survey so that the research director can forward the survey to the appropriate person.
  4. Indicate the length of time it should take to complete the survey (try to limit surveys to 5-10 minutes maximum).
  5. Limit the number of questions to a reasonable amount (<12 if possible).
  6. Pilot test the questionnaire within your organization to ensure you are capturing the pertinent information.
  7. Include a contact name and information for the person conducting the survey so they can field questions and collect survey results.
  8. Utilize an automated survey system if possible (such as Survey Monkey) to capture the information electronically. Provide the website link of the survey then verify that the link works prior to sending out the survey email. NOTE: Particularly when using web-based survey instruments, don't force an answer to every question. Some RAC members prefer to read through the complete survey to determine the appropriate person in their organization to answer the survey questions; if they can't skip questions, they may decide not to respond to the survey.
  9. Indicate a survey completion date that would allow a reasonable time for the Research Director to distribute the survey internally and get the survey completed and returned (consider 1-2 weeks turn-around time).
  10. Request basic information about the individual filling out the survey, including name, organization, and contact information. This will allow you to follow-up on specific questions or to request additional information when needed.
  11. Provide the individual with the option to attach documents such as PDF files if needed.
  12. To optimize feedback, it is highly recommended that you send out a reminder note one week prior to the due date that indicates the state(s) that have responded and when survey is due.
  13. Once the survey is completed, the survey results should be forwarded to Natassja Linzau (nlinzau@nas.edu) for posting on the SCOR/RAC website. Natassja — or the state Research Director — can then announce the availability of the results to the AASHTO-RAC listserv, with a thank you note to the participating states for responding to the survey.