Tutorial: Steps in Preparing an Online Questionnaire
- Review the basic objectives of the study. What are you trying
to discover? What actions do you want to take as a result of the
- Visualize all of the relevant information items you would like
to have. What will the output report look like? What charts and
graphs will be prepared? What information do you need
to be assured that action is warranted?
- Rank order each topic in items 1 and 2 according to the
value of the topic. List the most important topics first.
Revisit items 1 and 2 again to make sure the objectives, topics
and information you need are appropriate. Remember, you
can't solve the problem if you ask the wrong questions.
- How easy or difficult is it for the respondent to provide information
on each topic? If it is difficult, is there another way to obtain
the information by asking another question?
- Create a sequence for the topics that is unbiased. Make sure
that the questions asked first do not bias the results of
the next questions. Sometimes providing too much information,
or disclosing purpose of the study can create bias.
- Determine the type of question that is best suited to answer
the question and provide enough robustness to meet analysis
requirements. This means do you use open-ended text questions,
dichotomous, multiple choice, rank order, scaled, or constant
sum (ratio scale) questions.
- Write the questions. You may need to write several questions
for each topic, selecting the best one.
- Sequence the questions so that they are unbiased.
- Repeat all of the steps above to find any major holes. Are
the questions really answered? Have someone review it for
- Time the length of the survey. A survey should take less
than five minutes. At three to four questions per minute,
you are limited to about 15 questions. One open end text question
counts for three multiple choice questions.
- Pretest the survey to 20 or more people. Obtain their feedback...
in detail. What were they unsure about? Did they have
questions? Did they have trouble understanding what you wanted?
Did they take a point of view not covered in your answers
- Revise your online questionnaire using the SurveyConsole intuitive builder and pre-test again or begin data collection.
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