Formulating Close-ended Questions for Surveys

Formulating Close-ended Questions for Surveys
Formulating Close-ended Questions for Surveys

Principal speaker

Dr Judy Rose

This workshop provides an overview to the formulation, wording and sequencing of close-ended questions (CEQs), within the context of the logics and practicalities of constructing a questionnaire to support research. We cover the "do's and don'ts" of writing close-ended survey questions, including tips on the wording and placement of demographic and sensitive questions. We provide guidelines on how to sequence questions in a logical, organised and engaging format in a survey. We then demonstrate how the structure of survey responses produces different kinds of measurement that correspond to different data types (e.g., nominal, ordinal, numeric, ranked). Next, we provide guidelines for writing close-ended survey questions, including those measured with different scales (e.g. Likert scales with 3 vs 5 vs 7 categories, arrays with odd vs even responses, and non-response options such as "NA", "No Opinion" or "Don't Know"). With Likert scale questions we consider the advantages and disadvantages of including a mid-point option (e.g. "Neither agree nor disagree"). We briefly cover issues of Central Tendency Bias, Social Desirability Bias and Non-response Bias which can affect survey validity. Lastly, we provide examples of conditional, contingent and "skip logic' questions, including how they look on an online survey platform. Finally, we prepare you to apply these concepts of formulating close-end survey questions to your own questionnaire.

Format: This workshop will be delivered online during a 2.5-hour period, via Collaborate, with active learning activities and including ½ hour Q & A.

Pre-requisites: While the workshop caters to all levels of experience, it is beneficial to think about how CEQs relate to your own research questions and/or the underlying conceptual framework.

Relationship to other RED Workshops: This workshop is a companion to workshops on other kinds of questions in surveys, "Designing Open-ended Questions for Surveys', as well as workshops on validating surveys ("Qualitative Validation of Surveys', "Quantitative Validation of Surveys') and on analysis of these kinds of survey questions via "Analysing Survey Data Beyond Chi Squared'.

Recommended Reading, before attending Bee, D. T., & Murdoch-Eaton, D. (2016). Questionnaire design: the good, the bad and the pitfalls. Archives of Disease in Childhood-Education and Practice, 101(4), 210-212.

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