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Questionnaire Design
“It is not every question that
    deserves an answer.”
                     Publius Syrus
          (Roman, 1st century B.C.)
Major Decisions in Questionnaire
               Design
What should be asked?
How should each question be phrased?
In what sequence should the questions be
 arranged?
What questionnaire layout will best serve
 the research objectives?
How should the questionnaire be pretested?
  Does the questionnaire need to be revised?
Phrasing Questions

• Open-ended questions
• Fixed-alternative questions
Questionnaire Design Process
           Specify the Information Needed

      Specify the Type of Interviewing Method

    Determine the Content of Individual Questions

  Design the Question to Overcome the Respondent’s
        Inability and Unwillingness to Answer

          Decide on the Question Structure

          Determine the Question Wording

       Arrange the Questions in Proper Order
Questionnaire Design Process
        (continued)

      Identify the Form and Layout



      Reproduce the Questionnaire



       Eliminate Bugs by Pretesting
Types of Questions
               Questions


Unstructured                 Structured




 Multiple
               Dichotomous      Scales
 Choice
The Funnel Approach to Ordering Questions

           Broad or General Questions




           Narrow or Specific Questions
Questionnaire Design Check List
Step 1: Information Needed
 Ensure info obtained fully addresses all
  components of the problem
 Must have clear idea of the target
  population
Step 2: Interviewing Method
 Ensure that the proper interviewing method
  is being used given the study objectives
Questionnaire Design Check List

Step 3: Individual Questions
 Is each question necessary?
 Is each question unambiguous?
 Are the proper number of questions
  needed to measure a particular
  construct being asked?
Questionnaire Design Check List
Step 4: Inability/Unwillingness to
 Answer
  Is the respondent informed?
  Can the respondent remember?
  Can the respondent articulate?
  Is the information sensitive?
  Make the information request legitimate.
  Minimize effort required of respondent.
Questionnaire Design Check List
Step 5: Question Structure
  Use structured questions whenever possible.
  Response alternatives should include all
   possible answers.
  Response alternatives should be mutually
   exclusive.
  If, on a particular question, a large % of
   respondents may be expected to be neutral,
   include a neutral alternative.
Questionnaire Design Check List
Step 6: Question Wording
  Use ordinary words.
  Avoid ambiguous words (usually, probably,
   normally, etc.)
  Do not use leading questions.
  Avoid implicit assumptions.
  Use positive and negative statements as much
   as possible.
Questionnaire Design Check List
Step 7: Question Order
  Qualifying questions first.
  General questions before specific questions.
  Use logical order.
  Demographics?
    • Beginning of questionnaire
    • End of questionnaire
Questionnaire Design Check List
Step 8: Form & Layout
  Divide questionnaire into multiple parts
  Number each question?
  Precode the questions
  Keep scale questions in same general vicinity
  Avoid temptation to “fill the blank spaces”
Questionnaire Design Check List
Step 9: Questionnaire Reproduction
  Professional appearance
  Booklet format for long questionnaires
  Place directions as close to the questions as
   possible
  Expect reproduction errors
Questionnaire Design Check List
Step 10: Pretesting
  Always try to pretest first
  Test everything
  Pretest sample should be extremely similar to
   test sample
  Pretest using same methodology as the main
   test
  If make changes to questionnaire, or
   methodology, pretest again before main test.

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Questionnaire

  • 2. “It is not every question that deserves an answer.” Publius Syrus (Roman, 1st century B.C.)
  • 3. Major Decisions in Questionnaire Design What should be asked? How should each question be phrased? In what sequence should the questions be arranged? What questionnaire layout will best serve the research objectives? How should the questionnaire be pretested? Does the questionnaire need to be revised?
  • 4. Phrasing Questions • Open-ended questions • Fixed-alternative questions
  • 5. Questionnaire Design Process Specify the Information Needed Specify the Type of Interviewing Method Determine the Content of Individual Questions Design the Question to Overcome the Respondent’s Inability and Unwillingness to Answer Decide on the Question Structure Determine the Question Wording Arrange the Questions in Proper Order
  • 6. Questionnaire Design Process (continued) Identify the Form and Layout Reproduce the Questionnaire Eliminate Bugs by Pretesting
  • 7. Types of Questions Questions Unstructured Structured Multiple Dichotomous Scales Choice
  • 8. The Funnel Approach to Ordering Questions Broad or General Questions Narrow or Specific Questions
  • 9. Questionnaire Design Check List Step 1: Information Needed Ensure info obtained fully addresses all components of the problem Must have clear idea of the target population Step 2: Interviewing Method Ensure that the proper interviewing method is being used given the study objectives
  • 10. Questionnaire Design Check List Step 3: Individual Questions Is each question necessary? Is each question unambiguous? Are the proper number of questions needed to measure a particular construct being asked?
  • 11. Questionnaire Design Check List Step 4: Inability/Unwillingness to Answer Is the respondent informed? Can the respondent remember? Can the respondent articulate? Is the information sensitive? Make the information request legitimate. Minimize effort required of respondent.
  • 12. Questionnaire Design Check List Step 5: Question Structure Use structured questions whenever possible. Response alternatives should include all possible answers. Response alternatives should be mutually exclusive. If, on a particular question, a large % of respondents may be expected to be neutral, include a neutral alternative.
  • 13. Questionnaire Design Check List Step 6: Question Wording Use ordinary words. Avoid ambiguous words (usually, probably, normally, etc.) Do not use leading questions. Avoid implicit assumptions. Use positive and negative statements as much as possible.
  • 14. Questionnaire Design Check List Step 7: Question Order Qualifying questions first. General questions before specific questions. Use logical order. Demographics? • Beginning of questionnaire • End of questionnaire
  • 15. Questionnaire Design Check List Step 8: Form & Layout Divide questionnaire into multiple parts Number each question? Precode the questions Keep scale questions in same general vicinity Avoid temptation to “fill the blank spaces”
  • 16. Questionnaire Design Check List Step 9: Questionnaire Reproduction Professional appearance Booklet format for long questionnaires Place directions as close to the questions as possible Expect reproduction errors
  • 17. Questionnaire Design Check List Step 10: Pretesting Always try to pretest first Test everything Pretest sample should be extremely similar to test sample Pretest using same methodology as the main test If make changes to questionnaire, or methodology, pretest again before main test.