Constructing a questionnaire
Other than obtaining data and information, questionnaires play a critical role in relating the respondent’s attitude and inclination on a particular subject matter. The basis around the use and structuring of a questionnaire is important especially when the population sample studied is large and that the data needed is first hand. Although the subject in question may differ, the sole aim of a questionnaire is to ensure that the data obtained is viable and reliable. In this paper, we look at ways of making questionnaires, the types questionnaires, the factors to be considered when making a questionnaire and the do’s and the don’ts when coming up with a questionnaire. Questionnaire are of different types. The main demerit of this type of questionnaire is attributed to the speed of sending and receiving mails.
In most cases, mails may delay or come late inconveniencing the researcher and the respondents. Questionnaires include the following types of questions: Multiple-choice questions – participants are given a few answers to select from. The main demerit of this question is that if they are long, they end up becoming boring and confusing making it difficult for many respondents to continue. Open Question questionnaires – this method is mainly preferred since it makes the information collected unbiased and original. Most people find it difficult and complex since a multitude of methodological obligations are essential in coming up with a reliable questionnaire. Since questionnaires can be asked on multiple questions and in a variety of ways, it is insufficient to come up with questions randomly without prioritizing a number of factors.
Most importantly, is designing the questions to meet the obligations of your study. Notable factors considered when coming up with a questionnaire include: • The sampling method to be used • The sample size and sample type to be inculcated in the study • The validity and reliability in reference to the methodology of study • The items to be identified in the study • The type of questions to be administered • The order and wording of the questions administered • The interviewing techniques essential for the study • Method of administering the survey instrument The factors above are core factors that when ignored, can result in insufficient, unreliable and invalid data and information. A clear understanding of the research you are conducting or the project you are working on should be the first step towards coming up with a suitable questionnaires.
Moreover, it helps restructure the questions to remove confusing, ambiguous and difficult vocabulary within the questions. Once the validation process is over, it means that we have a draft questionnaire, which essentially aims at achieving the best information and analysis if answered accurately. Johnson then suggests that a focus group is essential, as it is a representation of the sample population perimeter. On creating the focus group, it is up to them to make a clear analysis of the topic researched to get the scope of the study conducted. On understanding the scope of the study, the focus group is responsible for coming up with new ideas, which would in one way or the other, improve and advance on the accuracy and objectives of the questionnaire.
This should be applicable in cases where the participant forgets and indicates his or her name in the questionnaires. If the research does not conform to anonymity of data and information, it’s up to the researcher to ensure that confidentiality will be upheld and that no data or personal information would be sold, shared or distributed to any other third party (Chapter 2. The Questionnaire, 2012). This will play a key role in ensuring that the responses given in the questionnaires are true, accurate and honest. As mentioned above, an assurance of confidentiality and anonymity is the best and most significant way of achieving this. If reliable, then the questions are suitable for the current study or research. Other than that, the feedback obtained from the mock audience is vital in reviewing the questions.
They determine the level of clarity and ambiguity of the drafted questions. Should there be any discrepancies; necessary corrections should be done in conformity with the research goals and objectives. However, in case the mock panel decides that the entire questionnaire has many flaws, then the supervisors and the experts should revise the whole questionnaire. The sample selected should be a representation of the population as per the study or research in question. For example, when conducting a study on the effects of social media to the society, the sample selected should be informed on social media and have used or do have an account in one or all the social media platforms. Sampling is through incorporating a number of sampling techniques.
The most commonly used sampling technique is the random sampling technique where the participants are selected randomly and indiscriminately from the whole population parameter. Random sampling include, stratification sampling, systemic sampling, cluster sampling and simple random sampling. This method involves selecting people on a random scale such that their knowledge on the issue at hand is related to the module first hand. This limits coercion to answer in a particular way since the information is given instantly. When selecting the sample size inculcated in the study, it is important that the researcher consider the period he or she has, the resources at his disposal and study at hand (Campbell, 2004). If there is limited time, a small sample should be selected. If the resources are limited, the sample selected should meet the number of questionnaire that the researcher has afforded to make.
Top 10 Do’s of questionnaire design 1. The respondent should be well defined in terms of age, gender and education background 2. The anonymity of the participants and confidentiality should be upheld 3. Research questions identified should aim at achieving the study objectives 4. The structured questionnaire should follow a natural flow, logical conversation and thoughts 5. Questions should not be repetitive 5. Questions should not be long or in lengthy sentences. Using double-barreled questions that involve asking more than one questions at the same time. Minimizing respondent’s ability to offer sufficient feedbacks 8. Excessive classification of sections and data 9. What is your understanding on ecotourism? In this question, we introduce the basis of the research conducted. The research borders on ecotourism and it is highly dependent on the participants understanding of ecotourism and the conservation of our ecosystem.
This question introduces the participant to the objective of the study, which is on the impacts, and effects of ecotourism and the Underwater Sculpture Park. How important is ecotourism to Grenada? After introducing the participants to the general definition of what ecotourism entails, we ask if the participants consider ecotourism as important or detrimental to their economy. In this section, those who regard ecotourism as important can list the benefits attributed to ecotourism that they may have observed or what they may consider as the resulting impacts. Parliamentary History, 31, pp. Campbell, K. The Quest for the Perfect Questionnaire—Has the Definitive Guide to Questionnaire Design Arrived?. PsycCRITIQUES, 49(Supplement 9). Emami, A. , Partilo, S. , Licata, A. and Kattan, M. Paper Standard Gamble: The Reliability of a Paper Questionnaire to Assess Utility.
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