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General Survey

Time
1–2 days
What you need
Online survey tool
Who you need
10+ people

Steps

  1. Consider the number of responses you need.
  2. Write survey questions.
    1. The survey questions should be as clear and precise as possible. Make sure your questions are phrased neutrally, with no bias towards one answer or another.

      Think about what kind of questions will be most useful for your research objectives.

      Closed-ended questions give a predetermined set of answers to choose from. They provide you with numerical data that can be statistically analysed to find patterns, trends, and correlations. A closed-ended question can include:

    2. A binary answer (e.g. yes/no or agree/disagree)
    3. A scale (e.g. a Likert scale with five points ranging from strongly agree to strongly disagree)
    4. A list of options with a single answer possible (e.g. work department)
    5. A list of options with multiple answers possible (e.g. workplace activities)
    6. Open-ended questions have no predetermined answers to choose from and respondants write in their own words. You get much richer data but they can be more difficult to analyse, especially if you have a high number of responses. They also require more time from respondants, and are likely to reduce the number of people who complete the survey.

  3. Order and categorise the questions.
  4. Start with easy, non-sensitive, closed-ended questions that will encourage the respondent to continue.

    If the survey is long, or covers different topics or themes, then group the questions together by subject. Provide clear instructions and headings to help respondents understand the survey and make it easier to follow.

  5. Test the survey before you send it to everyone.
  6. Ask a few people to try the survey before you share it widely. This will make sure there are no technical issues, and also that the questions and ordering are clear and understandable.

  7. Tell people upfront how long the survey will take and when they need to give their answers by.
  8. Collect and analyse the answers.

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Related methods:

Further reading