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Learning and Evaluation/Archive/Learning modules/3Questions from Existing Surveys

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Part 1: Introduction

Why Survey?
Why Surveys Are Useful
Survey instruments
Types of information
Attributes - a special case
Survey Objective and Planning

Part 2: Reliability & Validity

Reliability & Validity
Face Validity
Content Validity
Criterion Validity
Construct Validity

Part 3: Question Construction

Writing Good Questions
Questions from Existing Surveys
Constructing your own Questions
Be Specific
Be Concise
Avoid Double Negatives
Minimize Social Desirability Bias
Avoid Double-barreled questions
Avoid abbreviations, jargon, technical terms, or slang
Avoid leading questions
Avoid loaded questions
Use appropriate wording
Ask useful questions
Rely on second-hand data sparsely
Use caution when asking personal questions

Part 4: Response Options

Question types
Dichotomous pairs
Multiple choice
Check all that apply
Choosing response options

Part 5: Questionnaire structure

Important considerations
Questions order
Additional Resources

  Wikimedia Training Designing Effective Questions Menu

Using Existing Surveys

Many surveys already exist and many people often use other surveys for their own purposes. Government agencies, universities, nonprofits, private companies, etc. all have many surveys with questions that can be applied for other purposes.

Often times you do not want to use an entire survey, but a set of questions from a survey. Before adopting an existing survey instrument or questions for another survey, consider the following:

  • Does the measure seem to be doing what it says it does?
  • How close a fit is there between the objectives of the measure and your program or product objectives?
  • Is it reliable?
  • Is it appropriate for the age and ability level of the audience?