What are some guidelines for creating appropriate questions for a questionnaire?
Survey/questionnaire questions should consider
- Intended Usage
- Sampling Issues
- Validity of Response Issues
The following is by no means intended to be complete. They are simply some issues that should be considered.
- What form of declaration is this questionnaire expected to generate? e.g. "x% of respondents believe that ...."
- What tools will be available to analyze the results? (Among other things this will impact the form of recorded responses).
- Do all proposed questions contribute to the objectives of the survey?
- (It is assumed that considerations have or will be made with respect to ensuring random selection within the sub-population and ability to generalize that sub-population to a larger population).
- Are there (initial) screening questions?
- Are demographic sub-groups something that needs to be identified?
Validity of Response Issues
- Are the questions simple, non-ambiguous, and do they avoid technical terms?
- Are the phrasing of the questions such as to encourage a biased response?
- Are choices presented as non-compound conditions?
- Are the questions as non-intrusive as possible and do they avoid possible issues of privacy?
- Are the expected responses of a form (e.g. multiple choice, scale, open-ended) that are likely to provide accurate and meaningful responses?