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1 Questionnaire Design Clinic Spring 2010 Seminar Series Survey Research Laboratory University of Illinois www.srl.uic.edu.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Questionnaire Design Clinic Spring 2010 Seminar Series Survey Research Laboratory University of Illinois www.srl.uic.edu."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Questionnaire Design Clinic Spring 2010 Seminar Series Survey Research Laboratory University of Illinois

2 2 Survey Research Laboratory Cognitive Steps in Answering Questions 1.Understand question. 2.Search memory for information. 3.Integrate information into summary judgment. 4.Translate judgment onto response alternatives.

3 3 Survey Research Laboratory Survey Intro/Cover Letter Introduction should indicate: who is conducting the survey the topics to be covered in the survey an assurance of confidentiality any IRB stipulations whether you offer how long it will take depends on mode, topic, population

4 4 Survey Research Laboratory Survey Intro/Cover Letter - example The goal of this survey is to understand the patterns of interactions between the groups and individuals who will be attending ….. The results of this survey will be used in part for University of Illinois at Chicago research purposes. Ultimately, we hope to provide a visual representation of the social network structure of various interested parties in the ____________ region. By completing this survey, you are agreeing to participate in the research.

5 5 Survey Research Laboratory Cover letter - example The Department of _________at the University of Illinois at Chicago, is conducting to understand the patterns of interactions between the groups and individuals ….… The research team is headed by… You are receiving this questionnaire because you are... It should take you about 10 minutes to complete the questionnaire. Please respond by August 1. Participation in this survey is voluntary, and you may choose to stop answering questions at any time. Your choice to participate or not will have no effect on your course grade or on your relation with the University of Illinois. Your response is anonymous as we will not be asking for any personally identifying information – please do not write your name anywhere on this questionnaire. We plan to use the results of this survey in part for University of Illinois at Chicago research purposes. Ultimately, we hope to provide a visual representation of the social network structure of various interested parties in the Calumet region.……. Only aggregated results will be presented. Completing this questionnaire indicates your consent to participate in the survey. Please contact ________ if you have any questions. If you have any questions about your rights as a research participant, please contact the IRB (OPRS) at…. Thank you for your participation! Names Affiliation / phone number

6 6 Survey Research Laboratory Ordering the Questions First questions should be directly related to the topic as described in the introduction or advance/cover letter Put demographic questions at the end Leave objectionable questions (e.g., income) for the end

7 7 Survey Research Laboratory Characteristics of a good question One that yields a truthful, accurate answer One that asks for one answer on one dimension One that accommodates all possible contingencies of response One that uses specific, simple language One that produces variability in response One that minimizes social desirability One that is pretested

8 8 Survey Research Laboratory Acquiescence - example Would you be interested in learning about courses from the past experiences of other students who have taken them? Yes No Do you feel ready to apply what you have learned today? Yes No

9 9 Survey Research Laboratory Acquiescence - example Administrators (e.g., principal, assistant principal, dean of students ) at this school ……………… a.Collaborate with faculty and staff to make the school run effectively. Strongly Agree, Agree, Neutral, Disagree, Strongly Disagree

10 10 Survey Research Laboratory Form A (agree Is version): Individuals are more to blame than social conditions for crime and lawlessness in this country. Form A (Agree Is) Agree (I): 59.6% Disagree (SC): (473) Form B (agree SCs version): Social conditions are more to blame than individuals for crime and lawlessness in this country. Form B (Agree SCs) Agree (SC): 56.8% Disagree (I): (472) Acquiescence

11 11 Survey Research Laboratory Do you feel ready to apply what you have learned today? Yes No Do you feel ready to apply what you have learned today, or do you not feel ready to do that? Feel ready Do not feel ready Acquiescence - example

12 12 Survey Research Laboratory Would you be interested in learning about courses from the past experiences of other students who have taken them? Yes No How interested are you in learning about courses from the past experiences of other students who have taken them? Not at all interested, Slightly interested, Moderately interested, Very interested, Extremely interested Acquiescence - example

13 13 Survey Research Laboratory Administrators (e.g., principal, assistant principal, dean of students ) at this school collaborate with faculty and staff to make the school run effectively. Strongly Agree, Agree, Neutral, Disagree, Strongly Disagree Characteristics of a good question - example How well do a dministrators (e.g., principal, assistant principal, dean of students ) at this school collaborate with faculty and staff to make the school run effectively ? Not well at all, Slightly well, Moderately well, Very well, Extremely well

14 14 Survey Research Laboratory Characteristics of a good question One that yields a truthful, accurate answer One that asks for one answer on one dimension One that uses specific, simple language One that accommodates all possible contingencies of response One that produces variability in response One that minimizes social desirability One that is pretested

15 15 Survey Research Laboratory The instructor was able to answer questions clearly and concisely in this course. Participants materials (high quality; easy to follow; helpful, etc) Characteristics of a good question - example

16 16 Survey Research Laboratory Characteristics of a good question One that yields a truthful, accurate answer One that asks for one answer on one dimension One that uses specific, simple language One that accommodates all possible contingencies of response One that produces variability in response One that minimizes social desirability One that is pretested

17 17 Survey Research Laboratory Indicate how the amount of use of the following types of classroom assessment have changed in your classroom Assessment during instruction to determine: degree of comprehension on part of an individual student….. Characteristics of a good question - example

18 18 Survey Research Laboratory Has your use of the following types of assessments increased, decreased or stayed the same? Assessment during instruction to find out how well a student has understood the material….. Characteristics of a good question - example

19 19 Survey Research Laboratory Characteristics of a good question One that yields a truthful, accurate answer One that asks for one answer on one dimension One that uses specific, simple language One that accommodates all possible contingencies of response One that produces variability in response One that minimizes social desirability One that is pretested

20 20 Survey Research Laboratory How often do you get in touch with your academic advisor in the Department of Communication? Never Once a school year or less often Once a semester Multiple times a semester or more often In emergencies only How often do you go talk with your academic advisor in the Department of Communication? Multiple times a semester Once a semester Once a school year For emergencies only Characteristics of a good question - example

21 21 Survey Research Laboratory Characteristics of a good question One that yields a truthful, accurate answer One that asks for one answer on one dimension One that uses specific, simple language One that accommodates all possible contingencies of response One that produces variability in response One that minimizes social desirability One that is pretested

22 22 Survey Research Laboratory Preferable to test the questionnaires with people like those in your main study population Test in same mode to be used for the study Consider cognitive pretesting Pretesting

23 23 Survey Research Laboratory Other characteristics of a good question Specify who, what, when, where and how. Over what period of time? Whats included? Provide cues

24 24 Survey Research Laboratory Does this table of contents cover recent developments? Does this table of contents cover recent research / topics in this field, or does it not? How many people live in your household? Please include yourself in the count, and also those who people who live with you but are away temporarily. Dont forget to count any babies and children. How many years have you been enrolled in a college or University? Not counting summers, for how many years have you been enrolled as a student in a college or university? Please count each year that you were enrolled even if these are not consecutive years. Other characteristics of a good question - example

25 25 Survey Research Laboratory Open vs. Closed Questions Closed questions are usually better Easier for the respondent Less coding later Better to have respondent do categorizing Categories help define the question

26 26 Survey Research Laboratory What grade level(s) have you worked with in the past 12 months? (e.g., 6th, 7th, 8th) _________________ Which grade level(s) have you worked with in the past 12 months? (please select all that apply). Grade 6 Grade 7 Grade 8 How often do you send text messages? _________________ How often do you send text messages? You can answer in any of the three different ways below, whichever one would be most accurate for you. You can tell us how many times per DAY you send text messages, or how many times per WEEK you send text messages, or how many times per MONTH you send text messages. Open vs. Closed Questions - example

27 27 Survey Research Laboratory Disadvantages of Closed Questions Categories may be leading to respondents May make it too easy to answer without thinking May limit spontaneity Not best when asking for frequency of sensitive behaviors there are numerous possible responses role of initial question development and pretesting

28 28 Survey Research Laboratory Response Options Response categories should be consistent with the question Categories should typically be exhaustive, including every possible answer Categories should be mutually exclusive Dont know category usually not appropriate knowledge questions

29 29 Survey Research Laboratory Did the facilitator have a thorough understanding of the subject matter? Very Poor, Needs Improvement, Okay, Good, Excellent How good or bad was the facilitators understanding of the subject matter? Extremely good, Somewhat good, Neither good nor bad, Somewhat bad, Extremely bad Response Options - example

30 30 Survey Research Laboratory Please indicate below which of the following organizations you interact with on a regular basis. Please check all that apply. Response Options - example How often do you exchange ideas or advice with members of each of the following organizations? Organization A: Never, Rarely, Sometimes, Very Often, Extremely Often Organization B: Never, Rarely, Sometimes, Very Often, Extremely Often Do you have at least one personal friend in each of the following organizations, or do you not? Organization A: Have, Do not have Organization B: Have, Do not have Organization A I regularly exchange ideas or advice with members of this organization. I regularly collaborate on projects with members of this organization. I have personal friends in this organization. I provide funding or receive funding from this organization.

31 31 Survey Research Laboratory 5-7 response options General guidelines number of scale points (sensitivity vs. meaning) labeling of scale points Response Options

32 32 Survey Research Laboratory How would you rate the instructors ability to explain the material in this course? Extremely poor, Somewhat poor, Fair, Somewhat good, Extremely good (or Excellent) Response Option Labels - example

33 33 Survey Research Laboratory Physical Format Checklist Number all questions sequentially Use large, clear type; dont crowd White space: Place more blank space between questions than between subcomponents of questions List answer categories vertically instead of horizontally Avoid double/triple banking of response choices Be consistent with direction of response categories Be consistent with placement of response categories

34 34 Survey Research Laboratory Physical Format Checklist (continued) Dont split questions across pages. If necessary (e.g., question requires 1.5 pages), restate question and response categories on next page Put special instructions on questionnaire as needed, next to question Distinguish directions from questions – be consistent

35 35 Survey Research Laboratory Key References To Get Started Dillman, Don. Mail and Internet Surveys: The Tailored Design Method. New York: John, Wiley & Sons, Inc, Bradburn, N, Sudman, S. and Wansink, B. Asking Questions: The Definitive Guide to Questionnaire design – for Market Research, Political Polls, and Social and Health Questionnaires. San Francisco: Jossey Bass, See also past issues of Public Opinion Quarterly

36 36 Survey Research Laboratory Other References Schuman, H., & Presser, S. (1981). Questions and answers in attitude surveys. New York: Academic Press. Krosnick, J.A., Holbrook, A. L., Berent, M. K., Carson, R. T., Hanemann, W. M., Kopp, R. J., Mitchell, R. C., et al. (2002). The impact of "No Opinion" response options on data quality: Non- attitude reduction or an invitation to satisfice? Public Opinion Quarterly, 66, 371–403. Saris, W. E., Krosnick, J. A., & Schaeffer, E. M. (2005). Comparing questions with agree/disagree response options to questions with construct-specific response options.Unpublished manuscript, Political, Social, Cultural Sciences, University of Amsterdam.


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