Course 5: Questionnaire Design

Lecturers: Prof. Dr. Marek Fuchs, Dipl.-Soz. Anke Metzler

Date: 13-17 August 2018
Time: 9:00-13:00, 14:00-16:00

Short Course Description:

Briefly speaking, a respondent’s answer can only be as good as the question being asked. Thus, an effective questionnaire is a key component of a survey contributing to overall data quality. In addition to an overview of theoretical principles underlying questionnaire design this course particularly aims at providing evidence-based practical advice on how to design good survey questions and questionnaires. Based on field-experimental studies evaluating various aspects of questionnaire design participants will acquire state of the art knowledge concerning questionnaire design. The course offers the opportunity to apply these competencies under the supervision of the lecturers in group exercises and assignments. The course will strengthen the, participants’ ability to design effective survey questions and to integrate them into a meaningful questionnaire.

Course Prerequisites:

Basic knowledge in quantitative social science research methods is required; basic knowledge concerning survey design and data quality is advisable. Participants not familiar with the total survey error framework are encouraged to consider the preparatory reading mentioned at the end of this syllabus. There are no statistical prerequisites.
Course participants will need to bring a laptop computer for performing the practical exercises in this course. The laptop should have the following software installed: Office package.

Target Group:

Participants will find the course useful if they:

  • plan to or are about to conduct a survey;
  • would like to supplement their initial experience in designing questionnaires with practical advice based on a sound theoretical basis concerning the underlying mechanisms.

Course and learning objectives:

By the end of the course participants will:

  • have an overview concerning the various components of survey data quality in general and questionnaire quality in particular;
  • understand the cognitive processes underlying survey measurement for the various survey modes;
  • be able to design simple survey questions of various types and to combine them in an integrated survey instrument.

Organizational Structure of the Course:

The four hours of classroom instruction combining lecture and group work are supplemented with two hours of on-site study assisted by the instructors where participants are expected to work on their assignments in due consideration of the stated literature. Additional time of 1-2 hours a day has to be scheduled for reading further course literature.

Software and Hardware Requirements:

Course participants will need to bring a laptop computer to perform the practical exercises in this course. The laptop should have some kind of Office suite/package installed.