I am teaching an online course on Library Surveys for Success soon. Here are some questions to be considered when writing survey questions (echo alert).
After designing your survey take a second look and think about the following:
- Did you give clear instructions?
- Are demographic questions asked that are useful to your project?
- Is the survey brief? (Less than 10-15 minutes to complete)
- Does the survey look professional and esthetically pleasing?
- Does the survey describe how the results will directly affect them? (EX: Improving services)
- Are the questions consistent with your survey goals?
- Do the questions use simple and clear wording?
- Are positive adjectives or phrases used?
- Do the questions ask for only “need to know” and not “nice to know” information?
- Does the question lead to a particular response? (Is it a leading question?)
- Is potentially offensive language used? (For example, sexist or racist wording)
- Do any questions contain technical terms or jargon?
- Have you used double negatives?
- What will be the value of a response? If 95% say, “Yes,” would this affect decision-making?
- Might the question prompt a vague answer? Make sure you ask directly for the information.
- Will respondents have the information they need to answer the question?
- If a scale is used for responses, is it balanced (for example, 1 to 5, with 3 being neutral)?
- If responses are provided, are they mutually exclusive?
Running your survey
- Did you do a pre-test before sending the survey out?
- Are you sure you’re reaching your target audience?
- Did you provide an end date?
- Do you plan to keep the survey live for a couple of days after the end date?