Designing a Good Questionaire

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Questionaires are designed to gather all the relevant information as quickly as possible. The question(s) on a questionaire should be short, simple, eliciting a yes or no answer, or so phrased that the answer enables a mark to be made to indicate that the answer is in one of several categories. The categories should be exhaustive, not too few or too many, and should usually include an ‘other’ category, so that answers which do not fall into any proper category can still be recorded.

The following is one example:

What is your favourite type of restaurant?
Type Tally
Fast Food
Do not go to restaurants.

Another type of questionaire is one which records numerical values. These could be frequencies or amounts of money spent for example. An example is shown below – notice that the categories are disjoint so there is no confusion over which category £10 should be place in for example, as there would be if the first two categories were ‘Less than £10’ and ‘£11 – £20’.

How much do you spend on your mobile phone a month to the nearest £?
Amount Tally
Less than £10
£11 – £20
£21 – £30
£31 – £40
Don’t have a mobile phone
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