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Survey Says:
Writing Questionnaires and Avoiding
Common Pitfalls
SARAH KEISTER ARMSTRONG &
SARAH KEISTER ARMSTRONG &
How are you Currently Using Surveys?
Please list some of your
CURRENT survey
techniques in your chat
box?
What kinds of data can inform your
survey questions?
 Usage data
 Demographics
 Longitudinal trends
 User anecdotes
SARAH KEISTER ARMSTRONG &
What data (information) do you need
to be more successful?
Please list in
your chat box.
How should you disseminate your
survey?
 Email?
 Mail?
 In person?
 Telephone?
SARAH KEISTER ARMSTRONG &
How do we find people who don’t use
our services?
 Go to where they are
 Community leaders
 Ask for help
SARAH KEISTER ARMSTRONG &
What is the right type of question to
ask?
MULTIPLE CHOICE
What activity do you most
prefer? Please circle all that
apply.
A. Skiing
B. Swimming
C. Golfing
D. Other:
SARAH KEISTER ARMSTRONG &
SCALE
Rank the level to which you
agree with the following
statement:
I enjoy outdoor activities.
A. Strongly Agree
B. Agree
C. Neutral
D. Disagree
E. Strongly Disagree
OPEN-ENDED
Tell us about your favorite
outdoor activities.
Common Pitfall #1
Making your survey inconvenient to respond to
Source: andertoons.com
SARAH KEISTER ARMSTRONG &
Common Pitfall #2
Creating answer choices that are
not mutually exclusive
SARAH KEISTER ARMSTRONG &
Common Pitfall #2: Example
Please select on average, how many cups of coffee
you drink per day:
A. 0
B. 1 to 3 cups
C. 3 to 5 cups
D. More than 5 cups
SARAH KEISTER ARMSTRONG &
Common Pitfall #3
Writing loaded questions
SARAH KEISTER ARMSTRONG &
Common Pitfall #3: Example
Which playgrounds do you visit most often?
SARAH KEISTER ARMSTRONG &
Common Pitfall #4
Asking double-barreled questions
Cartoonist: Dick Kinney
SARAH KEISTER ARMSTRONG &
Common Pitfall #4: Examples
How satisfied are you with your job responsibilities
and your pay?
Should our organization spend less money on
parking lot maintenance and more money on
program supplies?
Is this presentation useful and boring?
SARAH KEISTER ARMSTRONG &
Common Pitfall #5
Creating unbalanced scales
SARAH KEISTER ARMSTRONG &
Common Pitfall #5: Example
On the following scale, please select your level of
satisfaction with this presentation:
__ Fabulous
__ Great
__ Good
__ Okay
SARAH KEISTER ARMSTRONG &
Common Pitfall #5: Example
On the following scale, please select your level of
satisfaction with this presentation:
__ Very satisfied
__ Satisfied
__ Neutral
__ Dissatisfied
__ Very dissatisfied
SARAH KEISTER ARMSTRONG &
Common Pitfall #6
Not including all possible response options
SARAH KEISTER ARMSTRONG &
Common Pitfall #6: Example
Why are you attending this webinar?
__ To learn about a topic new to me
__ To expand my existing knowledge of a topic
__ To network with my peers
__ Because my boss made me
SARAH KEISTER ARMSTRONG &
Common Pitfall #6: Example
Why are you attending this webinar?
__ To learn about a topic new to me
__ To expand my existing knowledge of a topic
__ To network with my peers
__ Because my boss made me
__ Other (please specify): ______________
SARAH KEISTER ARMSTRONG &
Common Pitfall #7
Placing survey questions in a confusing order
SARAH KEISTER ARMSTRONG &
Common Pitfall #8
Not asking at least one open-ended question
SARAH KEISTER ARMSTRONG &
“I wish the library would…”
SARAH KEISTER ARMSTRONG &
Common Pitfall #9
UUAOOT
(Using unknown acronyms or other terminology)
SARAH KEISTER ARMSTRONG &
How strongly to you agree with this
statement?
We DO conduct surveys
but don’t usually make
changes based on the
information gathered.
Common Pitfall #10
Asking about a change you are
not prepared to make
SARAH KEISTER ARMSTRONG &
Questions?
(224) 305-2701
sarah@skaassociates.com
skaassociates.com
@skaassociates
SARAH KEISTER ARMSTRONG &

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Survey Says: Writing Questionnaires and Avoiding Common Pitfalls

  • 1. Survey Says: Writing Questionnaires and Avoiding Common Pitfalls SARAH KEISTER ARMSTRONG &
  • 3. How are you Currently Using Surveys? Please list some of your CURRENT survey techniques in your chat box?
  • 4. What kinds of data can inform your survey questions?  Usage data  Demographics  Longitudinal trends  User anecdotes SARAH KEISTER ARMSTRONG &
  • 5. What data (information) do you need to be more successful? Please list in your chat box.
  • 6. How should you disseminate your survey?  Email?  Mail?  In person?  Telephone? SARAH KEISTER ARMSTRONG &
  • 7. How do we find people who don’t use our services?  Go to where they are  Community leaders  Ask for help SARAH KEISTER ARMSTRONG &
  • 8. What is the right type of question to ask? MULTIPLE CHOICE What activity do you most prefer? Please circle all that apply. A. Skiing B. Swimming C. Golfing D. Other: SARAH KEISTER ARMSTRONG & SCALE Rank the level to which you agree with the following statement: I enjoy outdoor activities. A. Strongly Agree B. Agree C. Neutral D. Disagree E. Strongly Disagree OPEN-ENDED Tell us about your favorite outdoor activities.
  • 9. Common Pitfall #1 Making your survey inconvenient to respond to Source: andertoons.com SARAH KEISTER ARMSTRONG &
  • 10. Common Pitfall #2 Creating answer choices that are not mutually exclusive SARAH KEISTER ARMSTRONG &
  • 11. Common Pitfall #2: Example Please select on average, how many cups of coffee you drink per day: A. 0 B. 1 to 3 cups C. 3 to 5 cups D. More than 5 cups SARAH KEISTER ARMSTRONG &
  • 12. Common Pitfall #3 Writing loaded questions SARAH KEISTER ARMSTRONG &
  • 13. Common Pitfall #3: Example Which playgrounds do you visit most often? SARAH KEISTER ARMSTRONG &
  • 14. Common Pitfall #4 Asking double-barreled questions Cartoonist: Dick Kinney SARAH KEISTER ARMSTRONG &
  • 15. Common Pitfall #4: Examples How satisfied are you with your job responsibilities and your pay? Should our organization spend less money on parking lot maintenance and more money on program supplies? Is this presentation useful and boring? SARAH KEISTER ARMSTRONG &
  • 16. Common Pitfall #5 Creating unbalanced scales SARAH KEISTER ARMSTRONG &
  • 17. Common Pitfall #5: Example On the following scale, please select your level of satisfaction with this presentation: __ Fabulous __ Great __ Good __ Okay SARAH KEISTER ARMSTRONG &
  • 18. Common Pitfall #5: Example On the following scale, please select your level of satisfaction with this presentation: __ Very satisfied __ Satisfied __ Neutral __ Dissatisfied __ Very dissatisfied SARAH KEISTER ARMSTRONG &
  • 19. Common Pitfall #6 Not including all possible response options SARAH KEISTER ARMSTRONG &
  • 20. Common Pitfall #6: Example Why are you attending this webinar? __ To learn about a topic new to me __ To expand my existing knowledge of a topic __ To network with my peers __ Because my boss made me SARAH KEISTER ARMSTRONG &
  • 21. Common Pitfall #6: Example Why are you attending this webinar? __ To learn about a topic new to me __ To expand my existing knowledge of a topic __ To network with my peers __ Because my boss made me __ Other (please specify): ______________ SARAH KEISTER ARMSTRONG &
  • 22. Common Pitfall #7 Placing survey questions in a confusing order SARAH KEISTER ARMSTRONG &
  • 23. Common Pitfall #8 Not asking at least one open-ended question SARAH KEISTER ARMSTRONG &
  • 24. “I wish the library would…” SARAH KEISTER ARMSTRONG &
  • 25. Common Pitfall #9 UUAOOT (Using unknown acronyms or other terminology) SARAH KEISTER ARMSTRONG &
  • 26. How strongly to you agree with this statement? We DO conduct surveys but don’t usually make changes based on the information gathered.
  • 27. Common Pitfall #10 Asking about a change you are not prepared to make SARAH KEISTER ARMSTRONG &