Pitfalls to AVOID when developing a Survey
- Beware of jargon terms that a limited number of people may know (Do
you favor inclusion?).
- Watch out for "fuzzy" words that have ambiguous meaning
(Which class is best?).
- Do not ask more than one question at a time (Do you favor tax
increases and year-around school?).
- Avoid loaded or leading questions (Is it important to treat people
- Make sure that fixed-response questions have a place for every
possible answer (Are you a democrat or republican?).
- Use filter questions to guide subjects if all of the questions do not
need to be answers (i.e., If you answered no to question 1, skip to question).
- Minimize the amount of writing the respondents must do.
- Put the questions in a logical order. Place sensitive or difficult
questions at the end of the survey.
- Begin with clear directions.
- Field test the survey.
Del Siegle, Ph.D.
Neag School of Education - University of Connecticut