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Questionnaire Design

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Overview of the Subject
1. Introduction
1) Role of questionnaire
2) Three determinants of questionnaire design
3) Five main aspects for questionnaire design
2. Decisions of questions and answers
1) Constructing questions and answers
2) Various type of the questions and answers
3) Wording issues
3. Preparing instructions
4. Processing consideration
5. Format of the questionnaire
6. Pre-testing and finalization of the questionnaire
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1. Introduction
1) Role of Questionnaire
a) The questionnaire is a tool whereby data are
collected.
Questionnaires include forms used for not
only sampling surveys and censuses and also
data collection from administrative records.
Some questionnaires may be completed by
enumerators or the respondent, others by even
administrative workers.
The questionnaire itself may be completed
on paper or on a computer screen to record
the responses.

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1. Introduction
1) Role of Questionnaire
b) Questionnaires play a central role in the data
collection process, that is, the operation
process of the survey.
They have a major impact on the data quality
as well as the image that the statistical agency
projects to the public.

c) The questionnaire is a kind of tool for


communications between the statistician
and the respondent, it in turn serves as the
link between the data users and data
sources. 4
1. Introduction
1) Role of Questionnaire
d) It is not an exaggeration to say that the success of the
whole investigation depends upon the design of
the questionnaire.

No matter how carefully the rest of the survey is


planned, if the questionnaire does not present the right
questions, and is not designed well, the exact answers
cannot be gained or even some bias will be introduced
into answers, then the results of the survey will be
worthless.

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1. Introduction
1) Role of Questionnaire
e) Questionnaire design is an extremely important phase
of survey development.
It requires time, patience, research and testing to
develop an effective questionnaire.
Statisticians should be aware of the old saying:
"Ask a silly question; get a silly answer."

f) Neither questions nor answers are likely to be silly as a


rule, but, the answer can be a far cry from the one that
the designer of the questionnaire statistician has
expected.
It may happen even though the question is apparently
quite straightforward.
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1. Introduction
1) Role of Questionnaire
(Example)
There is quite amusing example such as the Census
question:
Length of residence in this country ?
It occasionally evokes answers like 20 metres.

(Note)
The questionnaire is called also a collection form, data
collection instrument, statistical return, or schedule.

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1. Introduction
2) Three determinants of questionnaire design
(1) Statistics which should be provided by the survey
The contents of the questions and answers are
subject to the statistics which are to be compiled.
Tabulation plan should be constructed at early
stage of planning.

(2) Collection method which is applied for data


collection by the questionnaire
The design of the questionnaire obviously depends
upon who and how fill in them.
some questionnaires will be filled in by a trained enumerator;
some will be completed by the respondent without any help;
others will be used to enter the results of measurements and
observations.
Therefore, these must be clearly established before
a preliminary draft.
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1. Introduction
2) Three determinants of questionnaire design
(3) Methods of data capture and data processing
The design of the questionnaire is affected also by the
methods of data capture and the contents of data
processing.
These should be established at early stage.

3) Five main aspects of questionnaire design


(1) Decisions of questions and answers;
(2) Preparing instructions;
(3) Processing considerations;
(4) Format of the questionnaire; and
(5) Pre-testing and finalization of questionnaire
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2. Decisions of questions and answers
1) Constructing question and answer
a) The question denotes any item on a questionnaire which
requires a response or an answer.
The purpose of a question is to obtain an answer or some form of
response that will be recorded and used for producing some
statistical tables.

b) The first step of preparing the questions is to make a list of all


the items of questions that should be included in the particular
survey.
This can be developed from the list of objectives or the statistical
tables to be provided.

c) As a general rule, there should be a separate question (or series of


questions) to obtain information on each data item.
(one item : one question or one series of questions)

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2. Decisions of questions and answers
2) Various type of the questions and answers
a) From viewpoint of the aim of the questions;
(1) The questions established to identify the target unit
of the survey
Name, address, etc. of every person or object for which data are
collected.

(2) The questions established to provide some


background information
These are used to classify the target units in order to
represent in detail key statistics of the survey. (Some
surveys use these questions as key data. ).
For example,
characteristics of household heads or households in a household
income and expenditure survey.
characteristics of establishments or enterprises in a survey of
production in manufacturing industries.
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2. Decisions of questions and answers
2) Various type of the questions and answers
a) From viewpoint of the aim of the questions;
(3) Key questions established to accomplish the basic
purpose of the survey
amount of income or expenditure in a household
income and expenditure survey.
quantities of receipt, production, sales etc. in a
survey of production in manufacturing industries.

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2. Decisions of questions and answers
2) Various type of the questions and answers
b) From viewpoint of the subject of the investigation :
(1) Questions about facts.
e.g. How many people live in your households ?",
(2) Questions concerning people's opinions or
attitudes.
e.g. What do you think about ..... ?";
(3) Questions about people's motivation why they do
somethings.
e.g. Why do you smoke cigarettes ?.

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2. Decisions of questions and answers
2) Various type of the questions and answers
Usually, in the kinds of investigations carried
out by governments and official bodies, we are
concerned mostly with factual questions.
But it could well be necessary to ask questions on both
opinions and motivation from time to time.
For example,
In a survey of school attendance, it may be necessary
to ask questions to find out what opinion people have
of a certain type of school, or why they do not
send their children to school.

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2. Decisions of questions and answers
2) Various type of the questions and answers
Generally speaking, factual questions are prepared
easier than opinion questions. Motivation questions
are more sensitive than factual questions.
(e.g) A question such as "How many children have
you ?" is easier to answer than a question such as Do
you believe the government is doing a good job ?".

In question of the latter type, exact wording is of the


utmost importance. If an interviewer inserted the word
really" before "believe" in the latter question, it would
immediately alter the tone and possibly affect the way
it was answered.
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2. Decisions of questions and answers
2) Various type of the questions and answers
However, even factual questions have still
many problems that can occur during process
of survey.
People may often answer, or attempt to answer, a
question even when they do not really know the
answer; it is quite rare for people to admit ignorance or
to refer to some records.
So, some cases may require the following
considerations;
to prepare many checks such as consistency check
the questionnaire as much as possible,
to avoid questions which people are unlikely to be
able to answer.

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2. Decisions of questions and answers
2) Various type of the questions and answers
c) Closed and Open Questions
Closed (Pre-coded) questions are answered by
checking a box or circling the proper response from
among those that are provided on the questionnaire.
The possible responses listed with the question are called
response categories.
A closed question restricts the respondent or
interviewer to select from the answers or response
categories that are specified with the question.
Open (Open-ended)questions are answered in the
respondent's own words.
An open question allows the respondent to provide
whatever answer he or she wants.
The respondent writes the answer or the interviewer
records verbatim what the respondent says in answer to
the question. Open questions must be followed by
sufficient blank space to record the response. 17
2. Decisions of questions and answers
2) Various type of the questions and answers
c) Closed and Open Questions
(1) Advantages and disadvantages of closed question
[Advantages]
(a) The closed questions are quicker and easier to
answer since respondents simply choose the
appropriate response categories rather than
formulate a response and state it in their own words.
(b) It is easier to analyze data that has been collected
using closed questions, since the answers are more
consistent and easily grouped.
(c) Coding and data capture of responses is easier and
cheaper with closed questions when compared to
open questions.
[The closed questions are used more frequently than the open
questions.]
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2. Decisions of questions and answers
2) Various type of the questions and answers
c) Closed and Open Questions
2) Advantages and disadvantages of closed question
[disadvantages]
(d) More effort is required to develop the response
categories. The response categories are designed to
be mutually exclusive and exhaustive. The
respondents may have more problems with the
question than with an open question, if the response
categories are not clearly formulated.
(e) Because response categories (or opinions) are listed,
the respondent may feel obligated to choose one of
the response categories whether or not they have a
fact or the knowledge required to answer the question.
To avoid this situation, a "Do not know" and/or "Not
applicable" category is sometimes included.
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2. Decisions of questions and answers
2) Various type of the questions and answers
c) Closed and Open Questions
3) Advantages and disadvantages of open question
[Advantages]
(a) The respondent has the opportunity for self-
expression or elaboration.
For example, open questions such as "Do you have any
additional comments?" are often used at the end of
sections of questions or at the end of the questionnaire.
(b) Sometimes respondents want to include additional
information to clarify an answer to a question.
Open questions may be used for this purpose sometimes.

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2. Decisions of questions and answers
2) Various type of the questions and answers
c) Closed and Open Questions
3) Advantages and disadvantages of open question
[Disadvantages]
(c) Respondent side
This type of question requires more time to complete
because the respondent has to formulate the answer as
well as record it when the questionnaire is self-
enumeration.
Even if the questionnaire is completed by interviewer it is
still time-consuming for the respondent and the
interviewer since the entire response must still be
recorded verbatim.

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2. Decisions of questions and answers
2) Various type of the questions and answers
c) Closed and Open Questions
(d) Statistical agency side
(1) It is difficult to instruct the respondents and
interviewers what and how minutely to be recorded in
questionnaire.
(2) After the questionnaires are collected, the responses
to open questions are usually coded to a numerical
code. This numerical code is meant to group
similar responses together to facilitate analysis.
This task is costly and time-consuming, and can
introduce coding error into the final results.

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2. Decisions of questions and answers
2) Various type of the questions and answers
c) Closed and Open Questions
4) Examples of open questions
a) ones requiring word responses are:
What kind of work were you doing? ;
What products or services does your business provide?
b) ones requiring numeric responses are:
How old are you?
What is your best estimate of the total income before
taxes and deductions of all household members from
all source in the past 12 months?

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2. Decisions of questions and answers
2) Various type of the questions and answers
c) Closed and Open Questions
5) Type of the closed questions
(a) Two-Choice Questions
This question is the simplest version of a closed
question. Often it is a yes-no question and is used to
split the respondent into different groups.
Two-choice questions are useful as screening
questions (or filter question) when some questions
are not applicable to all respondents. The direction
'GO to question xx' often appears directly after a
response category.
[example]:
Did you smoke cigarettes yesterday?
O Yes
O No ------------Go to Question 14
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2. Decisions of questions and answers
2) Various type of the questions and answers
c) Closed and Open Questions
(b) Simple choice or Multiple Choice
(1) The simple choice question asks the respondent to
select one response from a list of choices, whereas
multiple choice question asks the to pick one or
more response from the list. It needs to be evident to
the respondent whether the question is simple choice
or multiple choice.
(2) Note that an 'Other (specify)' category, is normally
provided to ensure that the list is exhaustive.
(3) The response categories for this kind of questions
require careful drafting. The list of response categories
should be mutually exclusive and exhaustive.
[Example] How old are you in years?
(Wrong) O 20-30 O 30-40
O 40-50 O 50 or more
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2. Decisions of questions and answers
2) Various type of the questions and answers
c) Closed and Open Questions
(b) Simple choice or Multiple Choice
What type of dwelling is this? (Check one only)
O Single house
O Double (side-by-side)
O Duplex (one-above-another)
O Low-rise apartment (less than 5 stories)
O High-rise apartment (5 stories or more)
O Other (please specify)
During your vacation, in what types of accommodation did
you stay? (check as many as apply)
O Hotel (including tourist home)
O Motel
O Camping or trailer park
O Home of friends or relatives
O Commercial cottage or cabin 26
O Other (hostels, private cottage, etc.)
2. Decisions of questions and answers
2) Various type of the questions and answers
c) Closed and Open Questions
(c) Rating Questions
Respondents are asked to rate response categories or
give their opinion about an issue or a statement.
Some considerations must be addressed when
formulating a rating question:
(1) How many response categories should there be?
It is possible to use as few as two, for example, in the
case where the respondent is simply asked to either
agree or disagree with a statement.
It is also possible to use as many as 10 categories
where, for example, each of the response categories is
rated on a scale of 1 (Not at all important) to 10
(Extremely important).
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2. Decisions of questions and answers
2) Various type of the questions and answers
c) Closed and Open Questions
c) Rating Questions
(2) Whether or not to include a neutral alternative, for
example -neither satisfied nor dissatisfied, in rating
questions. There is a tendency for respondents to
choose the neutral response category. A respondent
can be forced into making a choice if they are not
given the option of choosing a neutral alternative.
(3) Whether to include a category for responses such
as 'Do not know/no opinion" or "Not applicable.
The inclusion of this type of response category
depends on the question being asked.
For example, when asking about a particular service that the
respondent may have never used, it is necessary to include a not
applicable category.
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2. Decisions of questions and answers
2) Various type of the questions and answers
c) Closed and Open Questions
(c) Rating Questions ----Examples
Without neutral alternative:
How satisfied are you with our customer service?
O Very satisfied
O Satisfied
O Dissatisfied
O Very dissatisfied
With neutral alternative:
How satisfied are you with our customer service?
O Very satisfied
O Satisfied
O Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
O Dissatisfied
O Very dissatisfied

(Note) For each of these issues, the solution depends on the survey objectives, the
method of data collection, the statistical agency's own preferences, etc.. 29
2. Decisions of questions and answers

3) Wording issues
[General rules]
A poor question in wording produces a narrow range
of responses or is misunderstood. If the question is
too vague, It lead him possibly to give one particular
answer which may not always be correct.
Then, each question must be clear, concise,
unambiguous, logical, free from jargon, and be
relevant to previously defined objectives.
It should be noted that these principles should be
applied with commonsense and experience. The
most important factor to remember is that question
design is not a matter of applying theoretical rules.
It should be viewed as an art and not a science.
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2. Decisions of questions and answers

3) Wording issues
(1) Questions should be specific
a) Questions need to be sufficiently clear and specific.
It is quite a common fault to ask questions which are
too general when information on specific issues is
needed really.
[For example]
Suppose that we are required to undertake a study
of bus services in a particular town.
We decide to conduct a survey of the residents and,
among other things, we want to find out what people
think of the bus service. We consider asking the
question:
"Are you satisfied or dissatisfied with the present bus
service in this town ?" 31
2. Decisions of questions and answers

3) Wording issues
(1) Questions should be specific.
b) The problem of this question:
It is impossible to get much information which serves
the people who run the bus service. They must be
more interested in specific issues such as the
frequency of the buses, bus routes, the level of
fares, the cleanliness of the buses, and other things.
To find out what people think about each of these
things we need to ask a series of specific questions:
[e.g.]
Are you satisfied or dissatisfied with the frequency of
the buses ?, and several other questions concerning
other aspects of the bus service.
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2. Decisions of questions and answers

3) Wording issues
(2) Questions should be short and use simple words
a) It is very important only to use words which can be
easily understood by all potential respondents. Reject
words such as part of the everyday vocabulary of a
survey "expert". The wording should sound like
ordinary conversation. Simple, short questions are
more easily understood than long complex ones.
b) If people do not fully understand a question they do not
try to answer or give a incorrect answer that may
mislead the users eventually
c) An example of a question that contains difficult
language is:
"Are you economically active?"
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2. Decisions of questions and answers
3) Wording issues
(2) Questions should be short and use simple words
d) This question would be misunderstood by people
generally.
The phrase "economically active" is a technical term
used by economists and statisticians.
In this case it would better to ask a series of questions
such as,
"Were you working for money last week ? ";
if not,
"Were you actively looking for paid employment ?";
if not,
"Were you working on your family holding() to provide food,
etc. for your family ?"; and so on.

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2. Decisions of questions and answers

3) Wording issues
(3) Questions to be avoided
a) An ambiguous question
An ambiguous question is one that can have more
than one meaning.
The use of ambiguous words or phrases will mean that
different respondents will be answering different
questions.
If a question is ambiguous we can not know what the
answers mean; it will be difficult even to interpret
correctly the final results tabulated.
This problem often occurs when we try to ask two
questions at once, an example would be:
"Do you use the bus service to get to work because it is the
cheapest form of transport ?"
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2. Decisions of questions and answers
3) Wording issues
3) Questions to be avoided
a) An ambiguous question
The answer "no" to this question could mean two:
(1) the person does not use the bus service to get to
work, or
(2) it could mean that he does use it to get to work, but
not for the reason that it is the cheapest form of
transport.
To obtain the information in an unambiguous way, we
would have to ask a series of the questions:
"Do you use the bus service to get to work ?"
"if 'yes', is this because it is the cheapest form of transport for
you ?"
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2. Decisions of questions and answers

3) Wording issues
(3) Questions to be avoided
b) Double-barrelled questions
[An example]:
"Do you like drinking tea and coffee with breakfast ?"
Respondents liking one(tea) but not the other(coffee)
could be in a dilemma. Separate questions should be
used.
Apart from the actual words used in asking questions
ambiguity can arise if the units of measurement to
be used in reporting are not clearly indicated.
For example, how is a respondent to state such
things as "sales of coconuts last year?" Without
clear instructions he could quite reasonably report in
terms of either numbers or value.
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2. Decisions of questions and answers
3) Wording issues
(3) Questions to be avoided
c) Questions with vague words
Vague words generate vague answers. Avoid the use of terms such
as 'kind of', 'fairly', 'often', and 'many', 'generally', These words
have no fixed definition and can mean different things to different
people.
[For example]
"Do you use the bus service regularly or occasionally ?"
The words "regularly" and "Occasionally" have no fixed meaning.
One person may think that once a week is regularly, another
person may think that this is only occasionally. To find out how
often people use the bus service we must ask a much more
definite question:
"How often do you use the bus service ?"
and give people a number of alternative to choose from.
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2. Decisions of questions and answers
3) Wording issues
(3) Questions to be avoided
d) Leading questions
A leading question is one which leads or directs the
respondent the direction of a certain answer. It may be
done by the form of words, e.g. "You do not do
this ....., do you ?" or You do have . . . . . . don't
you ?" or it may suggest that a particular answer is
preferred. Examples are:
"You do not grow coconuts, do you ?", and
"You do think that the government should do something
about the cost of living, don't you ?"
The general content of question, the content of those
preceding it and the tone of the whole questionnaire
can also lead the respondent in a given direction.
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2. Decisions of questions and answers

3) Wording issues
(3) Questions to be avoided
d) Leading questions
[Example]
Leading question
Please tell me whether you agree with, disagree with, or
have no opinion on the following statement:
Tourism is beneficial to our County and therefore should
be promoted.
Neutral question
Please tell me whether you agree with, disagree with, or
have no opinion on the following statement:
Tourism to our County should be promoted.
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2. Decisions of questions and answers

3) Wording issues
(3) Questions to be avoided
e) Presuming questions
Presuming questions, that is, those where some
assumption is made about the respondent which may
not necessarily be true, should generally be avoided.
Example:
"How many cigarettes a day do you smoke ?"
This question should only be asked after a "filter"
question such as "Do you smoke cigarettes?.
The "filter" question is done to reveal whether the
respondent should have asked the question or not.

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2. Decisions of questions and answers

3) Wording issues
(4) Questions that need careful consideration
a) Hypothetical questions
Hypothetical questions such as "Would you
like . . . . . ? or "What would you do if . . . . . ?" are
usually of little value. In general people find them quite
difficult to answer honestly.
[Example]: "Would you like to live in Islamabad ?"
Most people would like to try everything once,so a "yes"
answer would be meaningless.
This question, however, is often used to predict
behaviour. Market researchers find it useful to ask
hypothetical questions in order to predict how buyers
would react to possible future changes in products,
packaging etc. 42
2. Decisions of questions and answers

3) Wording issues
(4) Questions that need careful consideration
b) Personalized questions
Personalized questions can sometimes be embarrassing
or may cause annoyance. Great care is needed with
this kind of question.
[Example]: "How much beer do you drink every day?"
Some people would find this question offensive or an
invasion of their privacy and refuse to respond. In
addition, most answers to this question would usually
be understated by people who are heavy drinkers.
(Respondents are often embarrassed to discuss private matters
and they are usually reluctant to admit socially unacceptable
behaviour and attitudes.) 43
2. Decisions of questions and answers
3) Wording issues
(4) Questions that need careful consideration
b) Personalized questions
There are several methods which have been developed
for dealing with personal or embarrassing questions,
for instance:
(a) to use a "third person", e.g. Some people don't send
their children to school., followed up with a direct
question asking the respondent if he agrees with these
views.
(b) to prepare a questionnaire that has no information
which would link the reply to the respondent after it has
been completed. That is, the questionnaire does not
contain the respondent's name, reference number,
etc.
(c) to put his answers into a sealed ballot box along with
replies from other respondents or to enclose
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questionnaires in envelopes.
2. Decisions of questions and answers

3) Wording issues
(4) Questions that need careful consideration
c) Question that involves memory
Most of actual questions to some extent involve the
respondent recalling information.
[Examples]:
"How many times have you used the bus service in the past
seven days ?"
"How much money have you spent on food or drink in the
past 24 hours ?'
"How long have you owned a car ? "
"How much money did you earn in the past twelve months ?"
Accuracy of information recalled depends on the
importance of what is to be recalled (whether it is a
major or trivial event), the recall period, and
completeness of the person's memory.
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2. Decisions of questions and answers
3) Wording issues
(4) Questions that need careful consideration
c) Question that involves memory
When we ask a recall question like the first example
above, there are two errors that can occur:
(1) The respondent may forget one or more bus journeys, and
(2) He may include journeys that he really made outside the
seven-day period specified.
To help reducing these kinds of errors we should try to
keep the recall period as short as possible.
If the period is too short, of course, sufficiently useful
information will not be obtained, but if it is too long then
recall errors will occur.
For small and regular items a short period such as
one day, or one week, should be used; for large and
infrequent items longer periods are more suitable.
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2. Decisions of questions and answers

3) Wording issues
(4) Questions that need careful consideration
c) Question that involves memory
When asking people to recall a specific event, such as
when they first bought a car, when they completed
schooling, or even their date of birth, it is possible to
help people by prompting them.
For example, we can ask "Was it before or after with
events Independence?" or "Was it before or after
Christmas?"
Respondents should also be asked to examine
records, receipts, etc. before answering many of
these questions.

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3. Preparing Instructions
1) Two types of instructions on a questionnaire.
a) introduction such as some information and
directions about the survey as a whole, and
b) instructions referring to individual questions.
2) Introduction to survey
The introduction to the survey is very important because
it sets the tone for the whole questionnaire. The
introduction of the questionnaire should:
a) provide the title or subject of the survey;
b) identify who is conducting the survey;
c) explain the purpose of the survey;

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3. Preparing Instructions
2) Introduction to survey
d) request the respondent's co-operation;
e) explain why it is important to complete the
questionnaire;
f) ensure that the value of providing information is
made clear to the respondents;
g) explain how the survey data will be used;
h) explain how respondents can access the data;
i) indicate that the answers will be kept
confidential;
j) in mail surveys, provide the return address and
the date for return.
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3. Preparing Instructions
3) Instructions referring to individual questions
a) The instructions must be clear, concise and polite.
b) They must provide all the necessary information.
But, generally speaking, if a lot of instructions or
explanations are needed for a particular question, this
is probably an indication that the question is badly
written. The question may be reviewed.
c) As far as possible, instructions should be placed next
to questions to which they refer.
Reference to footnotes or explanations on another
page are often missed and also disrupt the general
flow of thought while answering the questions.

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3. Preparing Instructions
4) Questionnaires completed by enumerators;
a) Enumerators will have been trained before the data
collection starts, so that there should not be the need
for so many detailed explanations on the form.
b) In addition, for more complicated surveys,
enumerators will usually be provided with instruction
manuals that provide detailed explanations, definitions,
of terms used and instructions on what to do in
different circumstances.

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4. Processing Consideration
1) The tasks involved in processing the questionnaire
should be considered when developing the
questionnaire.
In the early stages of questionnaire design, the
statistician should consult with those who will process
the data.

2) The codes associated with closed questions should


appear on the questionnaire.
The coding scheme should be developed at the same
time as the questionnaires are drafted. As well,
consideration should be given to data capture when
deciding on the layout of the questionnaire.

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4. Processing Consideration
3) Almost all questionnaires are captured to computer
files. The ease with which this data capture can be
accomplished can be affected by the layout of the questionnaire.
The consistent placement of the codes with the response
categories and aligning the questions in columns facilitates data
capture.
4) All the processing steps involving the questionnaire
(data capture, coding, etc.) should be tested to
ensure that the questionnaire works effectively with
these operations.
5) When drafting questions the impact on the data
capture of the questionnaires should be
considered. Each questionnaire should include a unique
identification number. This facilitates the verification of data
capture. Sometimes it is necessary to go back to the original
questionnaire to determine if the information has been captured
accurately.
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4. Processing Consideration
6) There are some guidelines which all the processing
steps involving the questionnaire (data capture,
coding, etc.) :
a) Items for punching or key-entry should be located separately on
the form from other items as far as possible.
b) Items for coding (in open question) should be arranged so that the
coding clerk or key-entry operator can follow a direct line of sight
rather than have to scan and search.
c) Boxes for the insertion of data to be coded and captured should
be of sufficient size for responses to be written legibly.
d) When the OCR(Optical Character Reader) is used for data
capture, more careful considerations need for questionnaire
design.

54
5. Format of the Questionnaire
1) Sequencing of Questions
Each topic and item or question should be arranged in proper order,
with attention to the logical and natural flow of thought involved in
answering the questions;

a) The order of the questions should be designed to


encourage respondents to complete the
questionnaire and maintain their interest in it.
The order should also facilitate respondents' recall and appear
sensible to respondents.
The sequence should reflect what is logical to respondents and at
the same time focus on the topic of the survey.
The questions should flow smoothly from one question to the next.
The questions on a subject should be grouped together.

(1) The introduction to the survey


The introduction to the survey should be put at the first
space or front page of the questionnaire. 55
5. Format of the Questionnaire
1) Sequencing of Questions
(2) The opening questions
The opening questions play an important role in
encouraging the respondents to participate in the
survey.
The first question should relate directly to the purpose of the
survey or topics for identifying the target unit.
It is important that the question be applicable to all respondents.
The respondent may question the relevance of the survey if the
first question asked does not apply.
The first questions should be easy to answer. For example,
starting with an open question that requires respondents to give a
detailed answer, may lead to a nonresponse for the survey
because they may feel that the questionnaire will take too much
time and effort to complete.
56
5. Format of the Questionnaire
1) Sequencing of Questions
(3) The placement of sensitive questions
Careful consideration should be given to the placement
of sensitive questions. If they are introduced too early,
the respondent may be reluctant to answer them. while
if they are asked at the end of a long questionnaire,
respondent fatigue may play a role in the quality of the
answers.
Therefore, sensitive questions should be introduced
at a point where the respondent is most likely to
feel comfortable answering them and where they are
most meaningful in the context of other questions.
For example, sensitive questions about health should
be introduced in the section with other health-related
questions.
57
6. Format of the Questionnaire
1) Sequencing of Questions
(4) The placement of demographic and classification
question
This information is often used for grouping purposes to
allow comparisons of the survey information collection.
The reason for asking these types of questions should
be explained.
For example, "The next few questions will help to relate
information on your health to that of other people with
similar backgrounds."
In the case of household surveys and other social
surveys, the demographic information is sometimes
located at the end of the questionnaire.
58
5. Format of the Questionnaire
2) Layout of questionnaire
[General issues]
Sufficient space should be allowed on the questionnaire for answers
and subsequent totaling and other coding or calculations;
The layout of the questionnaire should be also to assist work of
sorting and tabulation,
Built-in checks (for response) should be provided where possible
a) A good impression of the questionnaire
It is important that the respondent should receive a good
impression of the questionnaire he is asked to complete.
It should have an overall appearance of neatness,
clarity of print and orderly arrangement of
components.
It should not be overcrowded as this not only causes a
bad initial reaction, but also makes the task of reporting
more difficult.

59
5. Format of the Questionnaire
2) Layout of questionnaire
b) Consistency of typeface and font
These should be maintained for questions, instructions,
headings and transitional statements. The use of
different typeface and font for questions and instructions
allows the respondent to easily identify the questions.

(1) Titles and section headings are usually, in a larger font than the
questions and response categories.
(2) The questions should be numbered consecutively throughout the
entire questionnaire. Numbers, titles or letters can indicate sections.
(3) Data entry codes that appear on the questionnaire should not
interfere with the questions or the numbering of the questions.
(4) It is a good idea to provide titles or headings for each section of
the questionnaire.

60
5. Format of the Questionnaire
2) Layout of questionnaire
c) All the aspects of the questionnaire related to
how the questionnaire looks must also be
considered.
(1) The front cover of the questionnaire is extremely
important as it must get the attention of the respondent
and clearly indicate to the respondent the purpose of
the survey and any other information that the
respondent might need.
(2) Decisions have to be made regarding the type and
size of paper used for the questionnaire.

61
5. Format of the Questionnaire
2) Layout of questionnaire
d) Colour
(1) It can be used in several ways on questionnaires.
Different versions of the questionnaire (e.g. for different
languages, type of the form) can be printed on different
coloured paper.
(2)As well, for questionnaires printed on coloured paper,
the response boxes are white or a lighter shade of
the same colour.
This aids the respondent in finding the correct
placement of the answer for each question.

62
5. Format of the Questionnaire
2) Layout of questionnaire
e) Response boxes or response circles
(1)The convention of using response boxes for open
questions and response circles for closed questions
is good way to aid the respondent.
It is easier for the respondent to identify where the
answer should be entered when using this convention.
(2) The circle for closed answer categories should be
consistently placed either before or after the answer.

63
5. Format of the Questionnaire
2) Layout of questionnaire
f) The size of the form
The size of the form (and other enclosure if any) can
be important. It should fit into the envelope with a
minimum number of folds. You may have to consider
designing an envelope too. Try to remain within
standard international paper sizes for both forms
and envelopes.

64
6. Pre-testing and finalization of Questionnaire

1) Review of Draft of the Questionnaire


a) It is essential to have the questionnaire reviewed
internally after draft of the questionnaire
completes, before proceeding to questionnaire
testing.
b) This stage of reviewing should identify any obvious
problems with the questionnaire such as mistakes in
spelling or grammar or awkward wording. It is also
useful, at this stage, to have the questionnaire
reviewed by people who are not directly involved
with the project.

65
6. Pre-testing and finalization of Questionnaire

1) Review of Draft of the Questionnaire


c) Reviewers could include subject matter experts,
persons who have experience in designing
questionnaires, interviewer or members of the
population to be surveyed.
They can often provide helpful comments and
suggestions leading to revisions in the questions
and response categories.

66
6. Pre-testing and finalization of Questionnaire

2) Pre-test of the Questionnaire


a) Role of the pre-test
(1) It is important to test a questionnaire on 'typical'
respondents (i.e. respondents of a certain age, sex
and level of education) long before data collection
begins. Responding to a question is a complex
process.
Respondents must first understand the question. They
must then search their memories or records to retrieve
the requested information. After retrieving the
information, they must think about the correct answer
to the question and how much of that answer they are
willing to reveal.
Each of these processes may be a source of
response error.
67
6. Pre-testing and finalization of Questionnaire

2) Pre-test of the Questionnaire


a) Role of the pre-test
(2) Testing methods are intended to identify difficulties
and errors with the questions.
Testing can also identify whether the question order
affects the interpretation of questions, whether
instructions are clear and how respondents feel about
the appearance of the questionnaire.
(3) Benefits of questionnaire testing include:
- respondent and interviewer friendly questionnaires;
- collection of accurate data;
- questionnaire formats that facilitate data capture and coding;
- reduction in the cost and time for data collection and processing.
68
6. Pre-testing and finalization of Questionnaire

2) Pre-test of the Questionnaire


b) Practice of Pre-testing
(1) Pre-testing is a fundamental step in developing a
questionnaire. The entire questionnaire or only a
portion may be tested. In general informal testing is
easy and inexpensive.
(2) The size of the pre-test sample can range from 20 to
100 or more respondents. If the main purpose is to
discover wording or sequencing problems, very few
interviews are needed. More interviews (50 to I00) are
necessary to determine closed answer categories
based on open responses obtained in the test.
(3) The questionnaire should be administered in the
same manner as planned for the main survey (e.g, by
enumerators or by telephone). 69
6. Pre-testing and finalization of Questionnaire
2) Pre-test of the Questionnaire
b) Practice of Pre-testing
(4) Pre-testing of questionnaires is used to:
discover poor question wording or ordering;
identify errors in questionnaire layout or
instructions;
determine problems caused by the respondent's
inability or unwillingness to answer the questions;
suggest additional response categories that can be
pre-coded on the questionnaire;
provide a preliminary indication of the interview
length and response rate (including item
nonresponse).
70
6. Pre-testing and finalization of Questionnaire

2) Pre-test of the Questionnaire


b) Practice of Pre-testing
(5) Interviewer of the pre-test
Interviewers must have a thorough knowledge of
the purpose of the study. They must be well trained,
since they must note whether the question is
understood and answered by the respondents as
intended by the study design.
The interviewer should record his own observation,
criticism and suggestions, difficulties he had
experienced in locating the respondent and in
interviewing them.
71
6. Pre-testing and finalization of Questionnaire

2) Pre-test of the Questionnaire


b) Practice of Pre-testing
(5) Interviewer of the pre-test
Examples of what the interviewers record:
What questions or points seemed to cause
embarrassment or resistance ?
What and where they had difficulty in maintaining
rapport?
Did the respondent lost interest in the interviewing
process?
Where the respondent needed farther explanation?
Whether space given in the questionnaire for recording
was enough ?
And so on. 72
6. Pre-testing and finalization of Questionnaire

2) Pre-test of the Questionnaire


b) Practice of Pre-testing
(6) A valuable part of the pretest interview is that the
opinions of the respondents can be obtained after they
have answered them. The respondents may be asked
what each question means to them, for example:
What difficulties be experienced in replying,
What farther ideas he had that were not brought out
by the question,
What his feelings were when he responds "do not
know".

73
6. Pre-testing and finalization of Questionnaire

3) Finalize the Questionnaire


a) Pilot Test
A pilot test is conducted in order to observe all stages
of the survey process, including the administration of
the questionnaire.
It duplicates the final survey design on a small scale
from beginning to end, including data processing and
analysis.
It allows the statistical agency to see how well the
questionnaire performs in relation to the other
phases of the survey (collection, processing, editing,
imputation, estimation, data analysis).
74
6. Pre-testing and finalization of Questionnaire
3) Finalize the Questionnaire
b) Final Stage of the Questionnaire Design
Throughout the whole process of questionnaire
development and testing, changes are continually
made to improve the questionnaire.
Objectives and information requirements are
clarified, evaluated and decided upon; data users
and respondents are consulted; proposed questions
are drafted and tested, questions are reviewed and
revised, until a final questionnaire is developed.
The final stage of the process comes when the
decision is made that no further changes will be
made to the questionnaire.
At this point, the questionnaire is printed, or
programmed, depending on the data capture
method being used.
75