The Basics of Composing Proper Survey Questions

When designing surveys, there are basic elements to consider when composing properly designed survey questions

survey-designAs you begin to plan and develop your survey, you must first determine what information you want to collect, which then guides you through choosing which questions to ask, how to ask them, and of whom. Be precise. you should be creating questions that are as precise as possible.  Precision questions have the highest degree of accuracy as a result of the participants’ ability to recall events with ease. When asking questions about events, activities, and behaviors, the following components contribute to improving the precision of your survey questions.  Continue reading

When it Comes to Online Surveys, There Are No Wrong Answers

Wrong answer or wrong question? That is the question.

What is the goal of your online survey? Perhaps your goal is to measure employee satisfaction, improve product features, improve student learning, or increase your customer base. Whatever your goal is, online surveys are a great solution for collecting valuable feedback and information. Online surveys are easy to create, but wait! Have you tested your survey to ensure that you receive the types of answers you anticipate? When it comes to developing questions for your online surveys, plan your survey questions wisely, because there is no such thing as a wrong answer. There are only wrong questions.

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Plan the Order and Flow of All Your Survey Questions

When designing your survey, plan the order and flow of your survey questions

An important aspect of successfully writing surveys is knowing in what order to ask your questions. Random placement of survey questions may have a negative impact on the quality of survey data you collect from respondents.

If your survey needs to be completed by a particular target audience, ensure that screener questions (also referred to as qualifier questions) are placed at the beginning of the survey. Do not make respondents, who do not qualify to complete your survey, complete any more work than they need to. Don’t upset your respondents, especially if they are customers. It is possible that you may need to contact unqualified respondents in the future to partake in additional research surveys.

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Snap Survey Software How-to: Format a Grid Question for an Online Survey

Learn how to format a grid question for an online survey using Snap Survey Software 

grid_multi_comment_survey_questionSnap Survey Software offers many tools to assist users with formatting of and layout of survey questions, and making adjustments to elements of question positioning.

When you are creating an online survey for the Web, you do not have the same control over how it looks as you do with a paper survey. Different monitors and different browsers can make surveys look quite different, so it is worth testing your survey before you place it live on the Web. You also have to consider how the online survey will appear in different window sizes, rather than assuming that all the respondents will look at a full-screen window.

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Keep Survey Questions Simple and Free from Ambiguity

Well developed surveys eliminate respondent confusion by keeping your survey questions simple and free from ambiguity

When developing you survey, it is important to thoroughly review each of your survey questions. What may appear as a well-written, clear question to you may not appear as well-written and clear to respondents. When you start developing your questions, think about how each question will be read and interpreted by respondents. If time permits, consider pre-testing your survey questions with someone that is not familiar with your survey. Review their completed responses and discuss any issues the respondent may have encountered. It is important that your respondents completely comprehend your survey questions and be able to answer them in the correct manner in order to provide accurate, meaningful data. If the questions are confusing, you run the risk of compromising the accuracy of your survey data.

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Do You Understand How Respondents Answer Survey Questions?

What Happens When You Ask a Respondent Survey Questions?

When planning and designing a survey, you may just assume that respondents understand the purpose of the question completely and that they correctly interpret the way in which the question was intended.

It is expected that the respondent completes the question and replies with a truthful and accurate response. If the answer is easily triggered from a respondent’s memory or if the answer can be easily determined, there is a higher percentage that the respondent will truthfully answer the question. If a respondent cannot recall the information or cannot easily produce an answer to the survey question, they will still answer appropriately if the question is self-explanatory, asked in proper context, and has the appropriate range of response choices. Continue reading

How Do Respondents Answer Survey Questions?

When designing your online survey, you may assume that respondents understand each question the way in which each question is intended. It is also expected that respondents will answer questions with truthful and accurate responses.  If the answer is easily recalled by memory or if the answer can be easily answered, the likelihood of the respondent answering truthfully is much higher.  If a respondent cannot recall the information or cannot recall the answer to a question, they may still answer appropriately because the question was self-explanatory, asked in proper context, and gave the appropriate range of response choices – or, they may answer the question untruthfully in order to move forward in the survey.  Continue reading

Measuring Opinions, Values and Attitudes in Your Survey

When developing your survey, whether it’s an online survey, paper survey, kiosk or mobile survey, questions relating to opinions, values, and attitudes require careful consideration.  Because these are subjective questions about the thought processes and feelings of a respondent, they are not directly verifiable through external observation. Continue reading