To make a multiple choice question required, click the asterisk in the top-right of the page edit area while within the survey builder. Enabling this option will ensure that an option must be selected before the survey respondent may proceed to the next page of the survey.
The Survature platform does not allow AnswerCloud questions to be made “required”.
Currently it is quite common among survey administrators to make their survey questions required. There are many possible reasons for that design decision. The most common is due to a worry of missing out on data - while assuming that their survey takers are “racing through” to finish the survey and get the survey incentive.
We have decided against that kind of norm, because of the different level of user engagement we get and our methodology built around better user engagement leading to more trustworthy data.
The platform of Survature started with building a fresh and simple interface that survey takers can enjoy. Survey takers drive the process and they can feel it’s not an exam-style questionnaire. While the interface does more work in the background to collect the behavior, in the end it is the superior user engagement that makes the behavior data natural and useful. Seeing the red-box reminder of “this question is required” can harm that engagement, which tends to bias participants to react in a more careless and, perhaps, a slightly annoyed way.
Additionally, better user engagement does lead to more data getting collected. For example, the Tennessee Theatre survey had 7,000+ survey respondents, 83% of them completed the survey without needing any survey incentives. With this kind of user engagement, we get more data using Survature than using other tools. Given the increased amount of data available, our primary concern is to have survey takers provide the best quality of data and to do so without explicitly thinking about it. If some participants want to skip over an AnswerCloud, we prefer to let them skip so that our priority modeling stays free from the potential biases.
Right of Self-Determination
Lastly, making a question required is often also referred to as collecting “forced responses”. Even in the most “exam-styled” surveys you can find in the research world, the proper way is to not make questions required in social and behavioral research with human subjects, because that practice violates the informed consent and the participants’ right of self determination.
In summary, while there are sometimes a reason to make a question required, at the same time there are many reasons’ to not make questions required. It should be the user experience that drives completion, and your rapport with your audience that drives participation. Compelling a survey taker for a response is inappropriate.
- The Belmont Report, US Department of Health, Education, and Welfare
- Human Research Protections, American Psychological Association
- Protection of Human Subjects in Research, US Department of Education