This course is aimed at giving participants a
thorough grounding in questionnaire design. This course will be highly
participatory, with sessions aimed at providing hands-on experience of
designing questionnaires and survey questions, for quantitative social
By the end of the course participants should:
- Have a greater awareness of the different aspects involved in writing good survey questions and questionnaires
- Be able to design questions that:
- meet research objectives,
- take analysis considerations into account,
- take account of primacy and recency effects,
- avoid ambiguous words or concepts,
- avoid writing multiple questions in one,
- minimise problems of recall error and telescoping.
- Have the tools to critique existing surveys
- Questionnaire and measurement error
- Concepts to indicators
- General principles of question design
- Designing response options
- Writing questionnaires for different modes
- Reviewing survey questions
- Your questions and questionnaire design challenges
Who will benefit?
A general familiarity with quantitative research methods is assumed,
but it is not necessary to have experience of using these methods. You
will find this course useful if:
- you are new to survey research
- you need to design survey questionnaires for the first time
- you commission or manage survey research in central or local
government, health or other applied policy sectors and need to
understand the issues associated with questionnaire design.
- Participants will have a good awareness of the optimal ways to
word individual questions and create the questionnaire as a whole.
Lisa Rutherford is a Research Director at ScotCen Social Research. With over 15 years’ experience working on some of Scotland’s largest social surveys, Lisa has built up significant expertise in questionnaire design including using cognitive testing techniques to test and refine questions across a wide range of surveys and modes. Some of the social surveys Lisa has worked on include the Scottish Health Survey, the British and Scottish Social Attitudes Survey, the Scottish Crime and Justice Survey. More recently Lisa has been involved in testing questions for Scotland’s Census 2021. Prior to joining ScotCen, Lisa completed a politics degree and Masters by Research at the University of Strathclyde.
Ian Montagu is a Senior Researcher at ScotCen. Specialising in attitudinal research, Ian works across both the Scottish and British Social Attitudes surveys, designing questionnaires and using cognitive interviews to test and refine questions in addition to undertaking data analysis and reporting. Ian has a particular interest in political attitudes, and works alongside Prof John Curtice to design questions examining attitudes towards Scotland’s constitutional future and Britain’s relationship with the European Union. Before joining ScotCen, Ian completed a BA in Jurisprudence at the University of Oxford, followed by an MA in Research Methodology (Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology) at the University of Liverpool.
This course contributes 6 hours to the MRS CPD programme