SURV631: Questionnaire Design

Area: 
Data Generating Process
Credit(s)/ECTS: 
2/4
Core/Elective: 
Elective

The objective of this course is to introduce the scientific literature on the design, testing, and evaluation of survey questionnaires. The course will explore the theoretical and experimental literature related to question and questionnaire design as well as focusing on practical issues in the design, critique, and interpretation of survey questions that are often not taught in formal courses.

Discussion will focus on the measurement of both factual and non-factual material. Topics include general principles of writing questions to ensure respondent understanding; techniques for measuring the occurrence of past behaviors and events; the effects of question wording, response formats, and question sequence on responses; an introduction to the psychometric perspectives in multi-item scale design; combining individual questions into a meaningful questionnaire; guidelines for self-completion surveys versus interview surveys; strategies for obtaining sensitive or personal information; and an introduction to techniques for testing survey questions.

The course will also provide hands on applications of the methods discussed in class. Students will be expected to draw on the material covered in the video lectures and readings in conducting a series of exercises in the development of a questionnaire.

 

Course objectives: 

By the end of the course, students will…

  • be able to develop their own questionnaire based on a research question.
  • be able to apply the knowledge about the cognitive response process to write good survey questions.
  • be able to select and apply tools to pretest their questionnaire.
  • know different techniques to ask respondents about sensitive topics.
  • be able to develop questions that ask about facts (behaviors and events) and non-fact (attitudes and opinions).
  • be able to put individual survey questions in an appropriate sequence considering the idiosyncrasies of different modes of data collection.
Grading: 

Grading will be based on

  • 5 online quizzes (worth 30% total)
  • Participation in discussion during the weekly online meetings and contributions to the forum demonstrating understanding of the required readings and video lectures (10% of grade)
  • Project (60%) consisting of 3 homework assignments
Prerequisites: 

No prerequisites

Course Dates

2018

Spring Term (March – May)

2019

Spring Term (March – May)