Surveys and Questionnaires - Guide

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A survey is a data gathering method that is utilized to collect, analyze and interpret the views of a group of people from a target population. Surveys have been used in various fields of research, such as sociology, marketing research, politics and psychology.

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The survey methodology is guided by principles of statistics from the moment of creating a sample, or a group of people to represent a population, up to the time of the survey results' analysis and interpretation. From simple polls regarding political beliefs, to opinions regarding a new product versus another, the survey method is proven to be an effective technique to gather necessary information for the advancement of science and technology.

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The Survey Process

A systematic method of gathering information from a target population, a survey makes use of statistical techniques mainly used in quantitative research. The following steps are included in the process of conducting a survey, as well as several questions to ask one's self during each step:

1. Clarify the purpose.

Why should a survey be done? What are the pros and cons? What issue/s should be studied? How should you plan a survey?

2. Formulate survey goals.

What are the aims of the survey? Who should be the participants (target population)? How long should the survey be conducted?

3. Verify the resources.

Are the budget, manpower and other resources sufficient?

4. Choose a survey method.

What type of survey can satisfy the purpose, survey goals and available resources? Are there similar methods that are more suitable, such as Focus Groups or Panel Studies?

5. Perform the sampling.

Which sampling technique is appropriate for the survey goal and method? How should you design the survey?

6. Write the questionnaire.

What questions should I ask? What type of response formats and scales should be included? How should the survey layout look?

7. Pilot test and revise or change the questionnaire.

Is the questionnaire suitable for the sample? Are there any errors that need to be redone? How can the response rate be improved?

8. Administer the questionnaire.

Is the interviewer trained enough to administer the questionnaire to the sample?

9. Process and store data.

How should the data be handled? Where should the information be kept for future reference?

10. Analyze and interpret the survey results.

What does the information gathered say?

11. Make a conclusion.

What synthesis can be formed from the entire survey?

12. Report the survey results.

How can the results be conveyed effectively? What media presentation should be used in reporting the survey results?

The Questionnaire

In survey research, a questionnaire is an instrument that is comprised of a set of questions to be asked to the participants of the survey. Sir Francis Galton, an English polymath, introduced the use of the questionnaire in surveys. Questionnaires usually ask questions that elicit ideas and behaviors, preferences, traits, attitudes and facts.

Today, questionnaires can be administered in a variety of modes, such as face-to-face, telephone, paper-and-pencil, and computerized. The computerized questionnaire administration mode is used in an online survey. An online survey, or web-based survey, is a widely used survey method which requires participants to answer the questionnaire posted on the Internet. When preparing a web based survey, you should be aware about some of the tools for online questionnaires.

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(Jul 10, 2012). Surveys and Questionnaires - Guide. Retrieved Jul 22, 2024 from

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