Because survey questions are used to measure behavior change, repeating survey questions are a critical part of the reinforcement process. Repeating survey questions provide insight into behavior change over time. So what are the characteristics of an effective survey?
Asking the Right Survey Questions
There are certain characteristics that make up a good survey question. Survey questions should focus on achieving measurable reinforcement objectives.
Reinforcement objectives come in 2 forms: a statement or a question. Because many of our surveys are used for descriptive purposes, the statement is the most common survey objective.
All too often we make decisions based on results derived from answers to the wrong questions. Even if your survey questions are the right questions, they must be well written. Poorly written survey questions have the same outcome as asking a bad survey question.
There are two parts to a survey question: the stem and the scale. The stem represents the variables of interest and the scale represents the attributes given to these variables.
Writing good survey questions is a balance between art and science. This balance includes understanding various survey research designs and defining your measurement plan.
When developing your survey questions you want to consider how to receive the responses reflect the data your organization needs to see. You need to ensure that your learner clearly understands the survey question and knows how to answer the question. Lastly, you must consider whether or not the learner is willing to provide their answer to the question.
Asking the right survey questions at the right time to the right people in the context of an appropriate research framework generates relevant, useable information. But how do we know what survey questions to ask and when to ask them?
To ensure that you are asking the right questions the right way we need to take a step back to ask, "can the learner really respond to these survey questions and provide our organization with the most reliable data possible?"
Writing good survey questions is at the heart of survey design. To create the best survey questions, you need to determine clear reinforcement objectives that reflect measurable outcomes. Learn more about how to determine your reinforcement objectives in our step-by-step guide. Download the 10-Step Guide to Determine Your Reinforcement Objectives.