Key Points On Questionnaire Design Construction And Pretesting

Preliminary considerations:

• information required

• nature of target respondents

• type of data-collection method required to survey the respondents

Questions:

• reason for asking each and every question

• clarity and conciseness in expression

• exclusivity of response choices

• use of natural, familiar language

• exclusion of bias in phraseology

• avoidance of double-barrelled questions

• alternatives to be stated explicitly

• reliability and validity of questions

Questionnaire construction:

• when to use open-ended as opposed to closed-ended questions

• determination of the appropriate number of response categories and their description in the case of closed-ended questions

• ensuring movement through the questionnaire from evaluative to diagnostic to classification type questions

Pretesting questionnaire

• ensuring all aspects of the questionnaire are tested

• pretesting in an environment and context identical to that which will be used in the final survey

• establishing a debriefing procedure

An assessment of the validity of factual answers usually requires the researcher to consult other sources of information, secondary data or census reports. Nevertheless, while a measure may have excellent validity in the descriptive sense at the time it was taken, it may possess poor validity in terms of its ability to accurately predict an outcome. In the time between the measurement and the actual event, many factors may have had an impact.

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