Research in Second Life—Survey

Thanks for everyone who helps me with my research in Second Life. Finally I clear my thought and would like to share my this research experience with you. 🙂

  1. If you plain to send out the survey request through the SL educational mailing list, use your academic email address. Even though you can find many people using their personal email for communication through the mailing list, when you are doing research, people would like to see your real affiliation.
  2. If your survey questions contain “logical questions” (when surveyees choose certain answers, they might jump to other question and skip some questions), make sure to double check all logical questions. It will be better if you can practice the survey several times before send out the survey, it will be nice.
  3. To save surveyees’ IP or not, depends on the researcher. Some surveyees concern about the confidential issue, however, if your numbers of surveyee who filling the consent form and numbers of surveyee who really take the survey are different, without IP, you will not be able to identify which data was from who. It will not be a problem if there is no one want to withdraw their survey. However, if there is one surveyee wants to withdraw his/her data, it will be a big problem for researcher. (More about this issue, please see HERE.)
  4. In SurveyMonkey you can buy additional protection for your surveyees. It’s not too expensive, but when your surveyees have any concern, you can let them know their data is protected.
  5. If you think your surveyees in SL age must over 18, then, you might wrong. If you are not looking for people’s age under 18, you might let them leave the survey after the survey detected their age.
  6. If your survey is long, tell your surveyees it is long when you sending out the survey. In this way they can prepare their time for taking this survey. (“Show progress bar” is another option for surveyees to understand the length of the survey.)
  7. If you focus on Asia group in Second Life, it will be easier to use their own language for design and send out the survey.
  8. Let people know how can they easily contact with you. In the consent form you may also put your SL name, your own website, or something about you that your surveyee can find you easily, in case they have any question.
  9. The efficiency of gathering survey data (from my experience).
Type Effective How long people are interested to take the survey
Mailling list Very effective mid term
Group message/ notice Pretty Effective short term (right after the message/notice sent)
Survey “objects” physically put in different places in SL Effective long term


Once again, I would like to thank all my research participants, no matter you finished the survey or not. Also, there are some participants wrote me emails and send me messages about their thought on this research, thank you, I am really appreciate it! 🙂

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