Faculty & Staff
On Line Bio
Dr. W. Mark Hearn
Semester: Spring 2019 (01/08-04/26)
Questionnaire MaterialThe following material provides general guidelines and examples on constructing questions to be used in questionnaires.
Project cover sheet graduate
Project cover sheet undergraduate
Questionnaire Lecture - General Guidelines (pdf)
Crazy Examples - Fun Stuff
Ethnic Categories - Federal Guidelines
Why ask demographic type questions? When you ask questions to get a picture of the respondent (gender, age, ethnicity, major, employment, etc), the results may help you spot significant differences between respondents. These differences may prove vital to guiding your interpretation of the results. They may also support the conclusion that there are no significant differences between the respondents with respect to a particular category of respondents. Knowing something is there can be important. Knowing something is not there can be equally important.
Titles. The title used in a survey needs to be customized to the specific research subject. Don't use generic titles such "Survey" or "Questionnaire". The respondent should be able to ascertain the nature of the survey from the title. Try this: Show someone only the title of the survey. Can they tell you what the survey is about? If not, try again.
Say thanks. At the beginning of the survey, you should state that the respondents cooperation/input would be greatly appreciated. At the end of the survey, thank them for there input. Don't thank them at the beginning.
Cover Letters. Sometimes you need a little bit more of an introduction. The following is an example. Anniston Education Survey
Anniston Education System Survey.
This example was put together for The Anniston Star.
Chamber Membership Survey
Way too long but lots of examples.
Sample Question Types
Names and types
Yes, No different look
Example of screening question
Women's Retirement Original then a Revised version
This before and after example illustrates a couple of points:
First - Don't preach in your opening. You want their opinion. Keep yours to yourself.
Second - You need a variable or comparison point for research. Men to Women in this example.
International Business Survey Original then a Revised version
This before and after example focuses on layout. You need a nice clean layout. The table in the revised version with the Strongly Agree to Strongly Disagree is troublesome to set up. Save yourself some time. Use mine. Online Examples
(Do a "Ctrl Click" on the Link in the letter to go to the Online version):
The tone of the opening in these surveys are better than many of the previous. You want to ask for the respondent's help. Soften the opening. Say please.
Employee Skills Survey
Check this survey out. It is important to understand how respondents are selected: random, convenience, arbitrary, or invited.
Some examples of common mistakes in question design. These examples are coordinated with the questionnaire lecture and are an excellent exercise for preparing for the questionnaire exam.