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Survey / Questionnaire

Surveys/questionnaires are a series of questions (or other types of prompts) for the purpose of gathering information from respondents.

far fa-dollar-sign fa-sm Budget (e.g. personnel, space, equipment) Low Medium High far fa-user-clock Time per interaction I expect to engage stakeholders for... An hour or less Half a day A full day far fa-calendar-check Number of interactions I expect to interact with stakeholders... 1-2 times Appx. 5 times 10+ times Engagement Purposes far fa-scrubber Identify and explore new perspectives or understanding far fa-scrubber Identify which topics are most important to stakeholders far fa-scrubber Select outcomes and measures that matter to stakeholders far fa-scrubber Expand and diversify stakeholder outreach far fa-scrubber Refine and help implement effective recruitment strategies far fa-clock Time Frame

5-15 minutes

fal fa-tasks-alt Workload LIGHT MEDIUM HEAVY
Appropriate Applications More useful for: far fa-scrubber Collecting data quickly far fa-scrubber Eliciting anonymous feedback far fa-scrubber Collecting feedback from a large number of respondents far fa-scrubber To identify patterns and trends far fa-scrubber To provide a measure of respondents' opinions, attitudes, and perceptions about certain issues Less useful for: far fa-scrubber Eliciting discussion far fa-scrubber Eliciting in-depth responses far fa-scrubber Capturing feelings/emotions far fa-scrubber Collecting information specific to individuals Key Characteristics Resources Needed fas fa-money-bill-waveMoney far fa-scrubber Participant incentives might be considered as a way to boost participation fas fa-paperclipMaterials and Resources far fa-scrubber Resources for printing and mailing questionnaires (paper, printer ink, envelopes, stamps, etc.) far fa-scrubber Online platform if distributing online fas fa-usersPersonnel far fa-scrubber Individuals with experience in designing surveys would be an asset How To Identify what topics will be covered in the questionnaire. Determine what type of study design you will use for your questionnaire. Ex: cross sectional (surveys different people in the same population at multiple points in time) or longitudinal (surveys the same people over time). When writing your questionnaire, consider the following:
  • Choice of wording: Ask questions that are clear and specific and that all respondents will be able to answer. Consider if there are any words that may be viewed as biased or potentially offensive to some respondents.
  • Use of open- vs close-ended questions: If questions are open-ended, it should be be apparent to respondents that they can answer in their own words and what type of response they should provide (an issue or problem, a month, number of days, etc.). If a question is close-ended, it should include all reasonable responses (i.e., the list of options is exhaustive) and the response categories should not overlap (i.e., response options should be mutually exclusive).
  • Avoid double-barreled questions: Double-barreled questions are those that ask respondents to evaluate more than one concept. Be sure that you are asking only one question at a time and turn any questions that ask about multiple concepts into multiple questions.
Once the survey questions are developed, particular attention should be paid to how they are ordered in the questionnaire. A questionnaire should be grouped by topic and unfold in a logical order. It is often helpful to begin the survey with simple questions that respondents will find interesting and engaging to help establish rapport and motivate them to continue to participate in the survey. Throughout the survey, an effort should be made to keep the survey interesting and not overburden respondents with several difficult questions right after one another. Demographic questions such as income, education or age should not be asked near the beginning of a survey unless they are needed to determine eligibility for the survey or for routing respondents through particular sections of the questionnaire. Even then, it is best to precede such items with more interesting and engaging questions. After the questionnaire is completed, conduct a pretest using a small sample of people from the survey population to evaluate how people are responding to the overall questionnaire and specific questions. Pretests are one of the most important ways to determine whether respondents are interpreting questions as intended and whether the order of questions may influence responses.
Tips Conducting pilot tests or focus groups in the early stages of questionnaire development is a good way to understand if people are comprehending the question as intended. Variations Questionnaires can be administered on paper or online. Examples References / Other Resources

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University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

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