Formulating Open-ended Survey Questions
Formulating Open-ended Survey Questions

Principal speaker

Dr Judy Rose

This workshop provides a practical guide to the formulation of open-ended questions (OEQs) in surveys. First, we review the purpose of OEQs in survey questionnaires (e.g. to prompt for detail, gather unexpected insights, and allow the respondent to express views from their own frame of reference). Then, we demonstrate how to write OEQs using clear, non-leading and accessible language that will encourage the less fluent writers to answer with ease and without evoking a response burden. Next, we suggest options for the sequencing of OEQs and explain the potential impact of order effects. For example, we look at how placing OEQs in the beginning, middle and end of a survey can affect the quality of responses. We then provide a review of the effect of other dynamic features, such as the sizing and placement of open text boxes, in an online survey environment. Finally, we prepare you to apply these guidelines to your own research questionnaire.

This workshop is suitable for those new to writing open-ended questions for surveys, and those who have some experience but would like to further refine their practice. Format: This workshop will be delivered online during a 2-hour period, via Collaborate, with active learning break out groups and Q & A.

Pre-requisites: While this workshop caters to all levels of experience, it is beneficial to think about how CEQs relate to your research questions and/or conceptual framework. Useful pre-requisites to this workshop include MM1 - MM4 which helps to guide the building of a mixed methods study from foundations, conceptual framework, through to assembling surveys and interviews.

Relationship to other RED workshops: This workshop is a companion for the "Qualitative Validation of Surveys' and the "Formulating Open-ended Questions for Interviews' workshops.

Recommended Reading, before attending: Züll, C. (2016). Open-Ended Questions. GESIS Survey Guidelines. Mannheim, Germany: GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences. doi: 10.15465/gesis-sg_en_002. Please read pages 1-3.


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