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What makes a good questionnaire. Stages of a questionnaire:. Define your research question Formulate your questions Formulate your responses Design the layout Test the questionnaire – Refine Design your coding scheme Upload online, or print Analyse data and report.

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stages of a questionnaire
Stages of a questionnaire:
  • Define your research question
  • Formulate your questions
  • Formulate your responses
  • Design the layout
  • Test the questionnaire – Refine
  • Design your coding scheme
  • Upload online, or print
  • Analyse data and report
define your research question
Define your research question
  • Important to define your research question, study population,and the objectives at the beginning
  • What audience do you cater for?
  • Previous studies have shown that people are more responsive to questionnaires that cover issues that are relevantto them
formulate your questions
Formulate your questions
  • Studies have shown that the wording of questions has an importantinfluence on the responses that are given
  • It is important to remember that the average readingage in the UK is around 12 years
  • More difficult questions willeither produce an inaccurate response or the respondentwill give up and fail to complete the questionnaire
  • Better response rate is achievedif general questions precede specific questions
formulate your questions5
Formulate your questions
  • Use simple language
  • Avoid jargon
  • Keep questions short and specific
  • Avoid ambiguities
  • Avoid double-barrelled questions (“and”, “or”)
  • Avoid double negatives
  • Do not overload the respondent's memory
  • Avoid hypothetical questions
  • Do not make assumptions
formulate your responses
Formulate your responses
  • Questions can be divided into open-ended questions, orclosed questions
  • Open-ended questions are useful for identifying a rangeof possible responses where no previous data exist. Open-endedquestions also give the people an opportunity to state theirown views about a topic
  • The main disadvantage of open-endedquestions: they take longer to complete – may be left unanswered. It is also more difficult to code the responsesthan closed questions
  • Closed questions are quicker to complete and easier to code.Responses can be presented as simple yes/no choices
design the layout
Design the layout
  • Important to capturepeople’s attention and make them interested in completingthe questionnaire
  • Good idea to use at leasta size 14 font size for the questions and to avoidtoo many questions onto a page
  • If many questions, divide questionnaire into sections
  • Separate each question from the next with a linewill also help to make the questionnaire easier to read
  • Important that you give clear instructions atthe beginning and throughout the questionnaire
test the questionnaire
Test the questionnaire
  • First, identify the rangeof possible responses for each question
  • Do they examine the full scope of your research question?
  • Ask a friend or colleague to help you
  • Go through the questions togetherto identify potential problems
  • After each session, amend the questionnaire before re-testing
design coding scheme
Design Coding Scheme
  • Coding is the process of converting questionnaire data intomeaningful categories to facilitate analysis
  • For example: numbering the response tick boxes for each question
  • Test your coding schemeand data entry process during the testing phase
upload online or print
Upload online or print
  • Make sure that database is setup correctly
  • All links are working
  • Test on different Operating Systems and browsers
  • Print on high quality paper
  • Use bright colours for front and back of questionnaire but questions should be on white background
analyse data and report
Analyse data and report
  • When reporting, explain the purpose or aim of the research
  • Describe in detail how the research was done
  • Describe and justify the methodsand tests used for data analysis
  • Present the results of theresearch
  • Interpret and discuss the findings
  • Present conclusionsand recommendations
increasing response rate
Increasing response rate
  • Design a questionnaire that is easy to navigate
  • Clear questions and structure the questionnaire in sections
  • Do not ask too many questions – attention is limited
  • If you have to ask many questions, state the number of questions beforehand
  • Stress anonymity of the questionnaire
  • Make the e-mail request personal. Genuine request – do not spam!
  • Send reminders to people who have not responded
  • Add additional info (pages left, percentage completed)
conclusion
Conclusion
  • Define a research question
  • Meet research objectives
  • Make it clear for respondent (instructions)
  • Use simple language – avoid grammar errors
  • Do not overload the respondent’s memory
  • Organise the questionnaire
  • Test the questionnaire
  • Do not make assumptions