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Evaluation Tip 5: Writing Better survey questions

Good questions are needed for an effective survey. Poorly worded questions can confuse people and cause them to provide inaccurate information that will not be useful.


Recognizing Bad Questions:

Following are examples of poorly-written questions.  Read each one and think about why it is not a good question. After each question, the problem with it is explained and a better way to ask that question is suggested.

1.  Did you think this class was informative and enjoyable?   Yes     Somewhat     No

Question 1: This is an example of a double-barreled question, where two items (informative AND enjoyable) are combined in one question.  The trainee cannot, for example, respond "Years" to informative and    to enjoyable.

2. Did this class meet Part 46 annual refresher requirements?       Yes      No

Question 2: This question assumes everyone knows Part 46 requirements. Anyone who did not know these requirements would not be able to respond accurately.

3. Please give the following items a rating from 4 (most positive) to 1 (most negative).

Positive

Negative

The instructor

4

3

2

1

The room

4

3

2

1

The course materials

4

3

2

1

Question 3: This question does not give enough information. "Positive" and "Negative" are only two options - different levels of each do not exist. The information that this question is trying to obtain may be more easily and accurately obtained by creating open-ended questions.