Types of Questions
- Closed ended – Participants choose, among a list of possible choices, the response option that best reflects their opinions.
- Open ended – Participants are not given a list of response options, but rather are asked to answer the question in their own words.
- Combination of closed and open-ended (e.g., provide an “other” option which participants can define).
Types of Response Options for Close Ended Survey Questions
- Dichotomous (e.g., yes – no )
- Multiple Choice – Choose one response option (e.g., How would you characterize your political views?)
- Multiple Choice – Select multiple responses (e.g., Select all the factors you consider when choosing a college)
- PDF Document: Likert Rating Scale (e.g., Participants are asked to indicate their level of agreement with a statement on a defined scale)
- Ranking (e.g., Rank in order of importance the factors that influenced your decision to attend this college)
Advantages to Using Surveys
- Easy to administer and can be administered remotely (mail, e-mail, telephone)
- Relatively inexpensive
- Can reach a large number of people in a short amount of time
- Typically yield quantitative data that is easy to analyze
- Can cover a variety of topics in a brief amount of time
- Candid responses
Disadvantages to Using Surveys
- Response options may not capture participants’ true opinions
- Respondent usually cannot provide clarification
- May suffer from low response rates