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Using Questionnaires and Observations. Chapter 13. Chapter Objectives. Learn: When and how questionnaires can be used. How to develop a questionnaire. How scales apply to questionnaires. Questionnaire design concepts. How to use observation. Purpose of Questionnaires.

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Using Questionnaires and Observations

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Using questionnaires and observations l.jpg

Using Questionnaires and Observations

Chapter 13

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Chapter Objectives

  • Learn:

    • When and how questionnaires can be used.

    • How to develop a questionnaire.

    • How scales apply to questionnaires.

    • Questionnaire design concepts.

    • How to use observation.

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Purpose of Questionnaires

  • Questionnaires are one tool you can use to gather information. They allow you to study:

    • Attitudes

      • What people say they want

    • Beliefs

      • What people think is actually true

    • Behaviors

      • What the organizational members do

    • Characteristics

      • Properties of people or things

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Planning for Questionnaire Use

  • Questionnaires can collect vast amounts of data.

  • To make most efficient use of a questionnaire, consider the following:

    • Are the individuals who you need to interview widely dispersed geographically?

    • Are there a large number of people involved in the project and you need information about a smaller segment of the group?

    • Are you in an exploratory phase for a project?

    • Do you need to know all the problems with the current system so you can follow-up in interviews?

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Writing Questions

  • Effective questions and questionnaires should:

    • Be transparently clear

    • Have an appropriate flow of questions

    • Have an understanding of potential respondent answers

    • Have well planned details on how to administer the questionnaire

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Writing Questions

  • Open-ended questions on a questionnaire:

    • Should be written narrow enough to guide responses in a certain direction of optional answers.

    • Can provide additional information for exploratory situations.

  • Closed questions

    • Should be used when

      • The list of possible answers can be identified

      • The potential answers are all mutually exclusive.

  • Choice of words

    • Should use the language of the respondents as possible.

    • Reflect the business’s terminology for easier understanding.

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  • Scales are used to provide a measurement or judgement.

  • Measurements can take the form of:

    • Nominal

    • Ordinal

    • Interval

    • Ratio

  • There are two performance measures in scales:

    • Validity

    • Reliability

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Scale Problems

  • Scales may experience some problems.

    • Leniency

      • Occurs when respondents are easy raters.

    • Central tendency

      • Occurs when respondents rate everything average

    • Halo effect

      • Occurs when one question influences the answer to the next question.

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Design Concepts

  • A well-designed questionnaire should:

    • Provide plenty of white space.

    • Allow appropriate space for responses.

    • Ask respondents to circle their answers.

    • Use the questionnaire objectives to help determine the format.

    • Be consistent with the questionnaire style.


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Design Concepts

  • A well-designed questionnaire should order questions:

    • So the most important questions are listed first.

    • To cluster similar content questions together.

    • Anticipate the kinds of associations the respondents may make on the questions.

    • To list less controversial questions before divisive or inflammatory items.

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Questionnaire Administration

  • Once the questionnaire is designed, the next steps are:

    • Identify the respondents

    • Determine how to distribute the questionnaire

      • Bring all respondents together at once.

      • Hand out questionnaires and take back completed forms.

      • Self-administration with a centrally-located drop-off.

      • Mail questionnaires with a stated deadline, instructions, and return postage.

      • Administer electronically

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  • Observation can provide insight into additional analysis information.

    • It can confirm or negate information found from interviews, questionnaires, or other data gathering methods.

    • The process must be structured with a systematic approach to provide interpretable results.

  • To perform an observation:

    • The purpose of the observation activity must be clearly defined.

    • The level of observation details must be established.

    • Categories can be used to capture key activities.

    • Use appropriate scales, checklists, and other observation materials.

    • Decide when to observe.

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Time and Event Sampling

  • Time Sampling

    • Allows for specific observation intervals to occur at various times.

    • Biases can be reduced from “just anytime” observations

    • It also provides a sample of representative view of activities.

  • Event Sampling

    • Allows for observation of an event in its entirety.

    • Reduces concerns of piecemeal data collection.

  • Combination

    • A combination of both time and event sampling may provide the best observation data.

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  • Questionnaires are a tool for information gathering.

  • The questionnaire design should consider:

    • Question development concepts

    • How scales can be used on the questionnaire

    • How to minimize or eliminate problems when constructing scales

    • Good formatting guidelines

  • Questionnaire administration allows for several alternatives.

  • Observation is another tool to gather additional data possibly not available through other methods.

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