Monday, October 19, 2009

What makes a good questionnaire?

Questionnaires are a way to gather data from a large group of people inexpensively, quickly, and statiscally.
The steps to design a questionnaire are:
  1. Defining the Objectives of the survey
  2. Determining the Sampling Group
  3. Writing the Questionnaire
  4. Administering the Questionnaire
  5. Interpretation of the Results

(Source: www.cc.gatech.edu/classes/cs6751_97_winter/Topics/quest-design/)

It is very important to be clear when making a questionnaire. The goal is to eliminate the chance that the question will mean different things to different people. If the designers fails to do this,

then essentially participants will be answering different questions.

For example, it asking a question about frequency, rather than supplying choices that are open to interpretation such as:

  1. Very Often
  2. Often
  3. Sometimes
  4. Rarely
  5. Never


It is better to quantify the choices, such as:

  1. Every Day or More
  2. 2-6 Times a Week
  3. About Once a Week
  4. About Once a Month
  5. Never

Most adjectives, verbs, and nouns in English have either a positive or negative connotation. Two words may have equivalent meaning, yet one may be a compliment and the other an insult.

For example questions that have neither strong negative or positive overtones. Consider the following two questions:

  1. Do you agree with the Uniersity's plan to oppose ....?
  2. Do you agree with the University's plan to support ....?

They both can ask the same thing, but will likely produce different answers. One asks in a positive way, and the other in a negative. It is impossible to predict how the outcomes will vary, so one method to counter this is to be aware of different ways to word questions and provide a mix in your questionnaire. If the participant pool is very large, several versions may be prepared and distributed to cancel out these effects.

Questionnaire are a long process that require careful attention. A questionnaire is a powerful evaluation tool and should not be taken lightly. Designing it begins with an understanding of the capabilities of a questionnaire and how they can help your research. If it is determined that a questionnaire is to be used, the greatest care goes into the planning of it.

3 comments:

aqsa said...

ok now i really dint know whether to start a new topic or to comment so here goes.
As posted earlier by Alina & Nabeel a questionnaire has to be

Short
people tend to lose their concentration too soon with a long one

The Questionnaire has to be "targeted"
who its aimed to be filled by.
Like the FCC alumni form is meant for graduated formanites. The questions will be related to them being old student.

Non- ambiguous Language
Language should be clear and easy to understand. Don't be too formal but also don't get too informal choose a middle part.Keep in mind the culture of the people, in our society women would have issues writing their actual age and weight. Or an open questionnaire on birth control.

Incentives
If the person is filling you questionnaire voluntarily give him/her an incentive to fill it out.
If Knor ketchup send out a survey team they should be giving some gift hampers (small) to teh people.

Send reminders
If the questionnaire is important send a polite reminder to the person, but don't get on his nerves.

waiz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
waiz said...

A questionare should be short and it should have mcqs only. Only selected persons should be given the questionare.When the costumer advises you the company should implement that and after implementing the advice the company should send a letter to costumer about the changes that are made according to the costumer