Questionnaire Design

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Design Questionnaires (2-way communications)

Step1. Develop question topics (A rough set of topics/question areas to be addressed that can then be fitted into specific question formats.)

Researchers should take account of
( the project’s research objectives
The key driver of questionnaire design, determines the topics to be covered, which information is truly needed in comparison to information that is simply “nice to know”. 那些nice to know的问题,会增加问卷的长度,而这种不必要的长度会导致non response rates的增加。 ( the findings of any exploratory qualitative research undertaken 如果在quantitative之前进行过这种exploratory qualitative research,那么这种findings是有帮助的,可以帮助阐述应该问什么问题以及每一个topic的最好处理方式,同样也能帮助determine the relevant wording for questions and statements to be used in the rating scales. ( the characteristics of the respondents.

Respondents must be able to provide the information requested. Ability is based on the respondents having knowledge of the subject in questions (有些问题问的太精确,比如你上次去鞋店试了几双鞋这种,很难recall). --> so researcher needs to put himself/herself in the position of the respondent and then determine... Some questions are quite sensitive and private or boring and uninteresting --> researchers should determine how much and how specific these questions are needed. Make sure that the questions are relevent and interesting to potential respondents.

Step2. Select question and response formats

There are 3 main types of questions
Open-ended questions: Open-ended questions are unstructured questions that respondents answer in their own words. No pre-set choices of answers; respondents can decide whether to provide a brief one-word answer or sth very detailed. Advantages:

*The range of potential answers is quite wide, some answers may include the information or knowledge that researchers have not recognized before. It is quite hard to list all the proper answers. So this is a proper way. *It may help to explain the answers to other types of questions appearing in a questionnaire. Some attitude rating scales may show a person’s dissatisfaction of sth,but the reasons may be found or come from the open ended questions Drawbacks:

*It is quite hard to analyze and interpret. Cause the process involves editing and coding. Researchers should firstly editing the answers into a number of categories and then code each of the answers into one of these categories. ----> It can be overcome by pre-coding (before the interviews) rather than post-coding (after the interviews) potential responses. Researchers can put a list of potential answers with an “other” category, it is still an open-ended questions. This pre-coded open-ended question is different from the closed or multiple-choice questions because the list of answers is never read out or shown in pre-coded open-ended. *The depth of information may vary dramatically between different respondents. 比如shy or inarticulate respondents may provide the bare minimum of information.而且这种问题很可能在没有Interviewer的情况下,就空着了,那就是incomplete responses. Closed questions: require the respondent to make a selection from a predefined list of responses, specify the set of response alternatives and the response format. There are 2 main types of closed questions.

( Dichotomous questions:
*A dichotomous question has only two response alternatives: yes or no, agree or disagree, and so on. I.e. Have you shopped at Tesco before?
Yes 1
No 2
*Often, the two alternatives of interest are supplemented by a neutral alternative, such as “no opinion,” “don't know,” “both,” or “none.” I.e. Do you intend to buy a new car within the next six months?

_____ Yes
_____ No
_____ Don't know
(Multiple-choice questions:
The researcher provides a choice of answers and respondents are asked to select one or more of the alternatives given. I.e. Do you intend to buy a new car within the next six months?
____Definitely will not buy
____Probably will not buy
____Probably will buy
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