What is questionnaire?
A questionnaire is a research instrument comprising a series of questions and other prompts to gather information from respondents. The questionnaire is used as a tool to collect data for research and opinion collection.
Questionnaires can be open-ended or closed depending on the need for research or study.
The following are characteristics of a good questionnaire:
The questionnaire should deal with important topics to create interest among respondents. As a questionnaire involved sending written questions to respondents and in some cases respondents answer it alone, then you need to structure your questionnaire in such a way that it arouses the interest of the respondents to answer the questions. Avoid including boring questions in your questionnaire such as those which cover petty issues this can lead to a lack of responses.
It should seek only that data that can not be obtained from other sources. the questions included in your questionnaire should seek information that cannot be obtained from other sources such as observation or interview. This is important because many of the respondents are busy therefore to save their valuable time and obtain a quick response you need to keep your questionnaire short.
It should be as short as possible but should be comprehensive. This means that the questionnaire should only ask the questions that are essential to the research, and that it should be easy for respondents to complete. However, it is also important that the questionnaire is comprehensive enough to gather the data that is needed.
It should be attractive. This means that the questionnaire should be visually appealing and easy to read. The font should be clear and easy to read, and the layout should be organized and easy to follow.
Directions should be clear and complete. The directions for completing the questionnaire should be clear and concise. They should explain how to answer each question and what kind of information is being asked for.
It should be represented in good Psychological order proceeding from general to more specific responses. This means that the questions should be arranged in a way that makes sense to the respondents. The questionnaire should start with general questions and then gradually become more specific. This will help to keep the respondents engaged and make it easier for them to answer the questions.
Double negatives in questions should be avoided. Double negatives are confusing and can make it difficult for respondents to understand what is being asked. For example, the question “Do you not disagree with the statement that the government is doing a good job?” is a double negative. It would be better to ask the question “Do you agree with the statement that the government is doing a good job?”
Putting two questions in one question also should be avoided. This is because it can be difficult for respondents to answer two questions at once. It is better to ask one question at a time and then ask another question.
Every question should seek to obtain only one specific information. This means that each question should be focused on gathering one piece of information. This will help to make the questionnaire more efficient and easier to analyze.
It should avoid annoying or embarrassing questions. This is important because no one wants to answer questions that make them feel uncomfortable or ashamed. If a question is likely to annoy or embarrass respondents, it is best to avoid it. This is especially true for sensitive topics such as sex, religion, or politics.
It should be designed to collect information that can be used subsequently as data for analysis. This means that the questions should be clear, concise, and unambiguous. They should also be relevant to the research topic and be able to be answered in a way that can be quantified. For example, a question like “How satisfied are you with your current job?” is clear, concise, and relevant. It can also be answered on a scale of 1 to 5, which makes it easy to quantify.
It should consist of a written list of questions. This is the most common format for questionnaires. It is easy to administer and analyze, and it allows respondents to answer the questions at their own pace. However, there are other formats that can be used, such as interviews or focus groups. The best format will depend on the research topic and the resources available.
What are the elements of questionnaire?
The elements of a questionnaire are the different components that make up a questionnaire. These elements include:
Introduction: The introduction should provide an overview of the questionnaire and its purpose. It should also explain how the data will be used and how the respondent’s privacy will be protected.
Questions: The questions are the heart of the questionnaire. They should be clear, concise, and relevant to the research topic. They should also be easy to answer and should not be biased.
Response options: The response options are the choices that respondents can select to answer the questions. They should be mutually exclusive (only one option can be selected) and exhaustive (all possible answers are included).
Instructions: The instructions should tell respondents how to answer the questions and what they should do if they have any questions.
Thank you: The thank you should express appreciation for the respondent’s time and cooperation.
In addition to these elements, there are a few other things to consider when designing a questionnaire:
The order of the questions: The order of the questions can affect how respondents answer them. It is important to place sensitive questions later in the questionnaire, after respondents have built rapport with the researcher.
The length of the questionnaire: The questionnaire should not be too long, as this can discourage respondents from completing it. A good rule of thumb is to keep the questionnaire to 20-30 minutes in length.
The format of the questionnaire: The questionnaire can be in a variety of formats, such as paper-based, online, or telephone. The best format will depend on the research topic and the resources available.