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Develop a questionnaire

Some hints on how to design a questionnaire

  • Explain what sort of information the questionnaire will seek.
  • Make sure it is correct, neat and well spaced.
  • Make sure that the layout is consistent.
  • Choose an easily read type-face.
  • Leave pages un-numbered if it is long.
  • Make sure that the instructions are clear and separate from the questions.
  • Make sure that your questions will provide you with the data you need - it's too late to go back after.
  • Give clear response mechanisms (circle, tick, cross, etc)
  • Ask only questions specific to your research.
  • Use different question structures:
    • Statements with Likert responses in one section
    • Yes/No choices in another section
  • Ask for demographic information first.
  • Use numbering or coding for questionnaire identification at return (no names - maintain confidentiality)
  • Put important questions early, in case it is not finished.
  • End by thanking the participants for their contributions.
  • Always test the questionnaire to make sure users can understand the questions.

Other questions to consider

  • How will the questionnaire be delivered (personally, by post, or on line)?
  • Will participants be reminded if they haven't returned it - how? (with another copy, a reminder letter, a phone call, a personal visit). Emphasise the importance of the questionnaire, include a replacement.
  • How will the questionnaires be stored?
  • How will the data be analysed?
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