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How to design good questionnaires

10 hour course by Melanie Revilla (IBEI and UPF)

  • Schedule: 10 & 11 June (10.30am - 1.30pm / 2.30pm - 4.30pm)

This course provides a comprehensive overview of survey design, emphasizing the crucial role of well-designed questionnaires in generating reliable and valid data for academic research and decision-making. Survey data are instrumental in testing hypotheses and addressing societal issues, but their effectiveness hinges on the quality of the questions asked. Participants will learn essential steps in questionnaire design, starting from the conceptualization of survey questions to the organization of scales and the overall structure of the questionnaire. Through interactive sessions, key challenges at each stage of the design process will be highlighted, emphasizing how decisions made during questionnaire development can impact the accuracy and interpretability of the final results. The course covers various types of questions, including open-ended and closed-ended formats, with discussions on designing answer scales and considerations for incorporating new types of data, such as voice or visual data, to enhance data quality and gain deeper insights. The main topics include transitioning from concepts to questions, designing effective open-ended and closed-ended questions, selecting appropriate answer scales, considerations for incorporating visual data, and the process of converting questions into a cohesive questionnaire. Additionally, participants will learn about the importance of evaluating and pre-testing questionnaires to ensure their effectiveness and reliability in capturing the desired information. Overall, this course equips participants with the knowledge and skills necessary to design high-quality questionnaires, empowering them to generate robust survey data for academic research and practical decision-making purposes.

Melanie Revilla is a survey methodologist researcher at IBEI. She is the PI of the WEB DATA OPP project, funded by an ERC starting grant. This project investigates new measurement opportunities linked mainly to the growing presence of smartphones, including the use of visual data or metered data, to complement or replace conventional survey data in order to get better or new insights (https://www.upf.edu/web/webdataopp). She is also Editor-in-chief of the journal methods, data, analyses (MDA).