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What makes a good questionnaire. Stages of a questionnaire: 1. Define your research question 2. Formulate your questions 3. Formulate your responses 4.

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Presentation on theme: "What makes a good questionnaire. Stages of a questionnaire: 1. Define your research question 2. Formulate your questions 3. Formulate your responses 4."— Presentation transcript:

1 What makes a good questionnaire

2 Stages of a questionnaire: 1. Define your research question 2. Formulate your questions 3. Formulate your responses 4. Design the layout 5. Test the questionnaire – Refine 6. Design your coding scheme 7. Upload online, or print 8. Analyse data and report

3 Define your research question O Important to define your research question, study population, and the objectives at the beginning O What audience do you cater for? O Previous studies have shown that people are more responsive to questionnaires that cover issues that are relevant to them

4 Formulate your questions O Studies have shown that the wording of questions has an important influence on the responses that are given O It is important to remember that the average reading age in the UK is around 12 years O More difficult questions will either produce an inaccurate response or the respondent will give up and fail to complete the questionnaire O Better response rate is achieved if general questions precede specific questions

5 Formulate your questions O Use simple language O Avoid jargon O Keep questions short and specific O Avoid ambiguities O Avoid double-barrelled questions (“and”, “or”) O Avoid double negatives O Do not overload the respondent's memory O Avoid hypothetical questions O Do not make assumptions

6 Formulate your responses O Questions can be divided into open-ended questions, or closed questions O Open-ended questions are useful for identifying a range of possible responses where no previous data exist. Open- ended questions also give the people an opportunity to state their own views about a topic O The main disadvantage of open-ended questions: they take longer to complete – may be left unanswered. It is also more difficult to code the responses than closed questions O Closed questions are quicker to complete and easier to code. Responses can be presented as simple yes/no choices

7 Design the layout O Important to capture people’s attention and make them interested in completing the questionnaire O Good idea to use at least a size 14 font size for the questions and to avoid too many questions onto a page O If many questions, divide questionnaire into sections O Separate each question from the next with a line will also help to make the questionnaire easier to read O Important that you give clear instructions at the beginning and throughout the questionnaire

8 Test the questionnaire O First, identify the range of possible responses for each question O Do they examine the full scope of your research question? O Ask a friend or colleague to help you O Go through the questions together to identify potential problems O After each session, amend the questionnaire before re- testing

9 Design Coding Scheme O Coding is the process of converting questionnaire data into meaningful categories to facilitate analysis O For example: numbering the response tick boxes for each question O Test your coding scheme and data entry process during the testing phase

10 Upload online or print O Make sure that database is setup correctly O All links are working O Test on different Operating Systems and browsers O Print on high quality paper O Use bright colours for front and back of questionnaire but questions should be on white background

11 Analyse data and report O When reporting, explain the purpose or aim of the research O Describe in detail how the research was done O Describe and justify the methods and tests used for data analysis O Present the results of the research O Interpret and discuss the findings O Present conclusions and recommendations

12 Increasing response rate O Design a questionnaire that is easy to navigate O Clear questions and structure the questionnaire in sections O Do not ask too many questions – attention is limited O If you have to ask many questions, state the number of questions beforehand O Stress anonymity of the questionnaire O Make the request personal. Genuine request – do not spam! O Send reminders to people who have not responded O Add additional info (pages left, percentage completed)

13 Conclusion O Define a research question O Meet research objectives O Make it clear for respondent (instructions) O Use simple language – avoid grammar errors O Do not overload the respondent’s memory O Organise the questionnaire O Test the questionnaire O Do not make assumptions

14 References Arsham H. (2002). ‘Questionnaire Design and Surveys Sampling’. [Online]. Available at: [Accessed 18 May 2010] BizHelp24 (2009). ‘Analyzing Questionnaire Results’. [Online]. Available at: [Accessed 18 May 2010] Crawford I.M. (1997). `Marketing Research and Information Systems’. FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS: Chapter 4 Creative Research Systems. (2010). ‘Survey Design’. [Online]. Available at: [Accessed 18 May 2010] Galloway A. (1997). ‘Questionnaire Design & Analysis’. [Online]. Available at: [Accessed 18 May 2010]

15 References Good Practice Participate (2009). ‘Questionnaires to gather information and ideas’. [Online]. Available at: [Accessed 18 May 2010] Kelly K., Clark B., Brown V. and Sitzia J. (2003). `Good practice in the conduct and reporting of survey research’. International Journal for Quality in Health Care 15: McNamara C. (2009). ‘Analyzing, Interpreting and Reporting Basic Research Results’. [Online]. Available at: [Accessed 18 May 2010] Williams A. (2003). ‘How to write and analyse a questionnaire’. [Online]. Available at: [Accessed 18 May 2010]


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