PRINCIPLES OF QUESTIONNAIRE DESIGN

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The instrument in which both the mail questionnaire and interviewing method of collecting survey data depend on is the questionnaire or simply question schedule

The first step in designing a questionnaire is to define the problem to be tackled on the survey and hence decide which questions to ask.

However, the following should be given adequate consideration when developing a questionnaire:

  1. Terminology and Definitions: Standard terms and definitions that could be easily understood by an average respondent should be used.
  2. Question Contents: Avoid Lengthy questionnaires and instructions, since they are as demoralizing for the interviewer as for the respondent. The instructions should be brief, clear, and straight to the item, they refer to.
  3. Question Order: The questions in the questionnaire should follow a logical sequence so as to make free flow of thought and Ideas.
  4. Processing Efficiency: The questionnaire should be designed such that the process of editing, coding, classification, and analysis is enhanced.
  5. Question-Wording: The language for the questionnaire should be chosen having in mind the population being studied as the aim in question-wording is to communicate with respondents in the language they understand.
  6. Ambiguity: Ambiguous questions are to be avoided at all costs since different people will understand such questions differently and this will surely reflect in the answers.
  7. Leading questions: A leading question is one that by its content structure or wording leads the respondent in the direction of a particular answer. such questions should be kept off the questionnaire.

Errors In Data Collection

The two main prominent types of errors are:

  1. Sampling errors
  2. Response errors.

Sources of Response Errors

The gender, education, and social class of the interviewer might influence the answers obtained from the respondent.

Problems of Data Collection

  1. Manpower:  Finding suitably qualified persons to fit into the different stages of the operation posses a problem.
  2. Sampling Frame: The problem here lies in the fact that most of the frames available for practices for practical use are those that have been routinely designed and used for some purposes
  3. Coverage: The completeness of the average depends on the accessibility of the sampling units.

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