Assessment Resources

Assessment Resources


Asking good survey/interview questions


I. Reliable and Valid
Good questions are reliable and valid, which means they should be a consistently measured in comparable situations and the answers should coincide with what you intend to measure.

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  1. Reliability: The question should be universally understood and mean the same thing to every respondent.
    • This may require defining terms/concepts clearly.
    • Ask only one question at a time. Avoid asking two questions at once. This is called "double barreled questions"
    • Design both closed and opened questions to gain a complete view of respondent’s thoughts and opinions.
  2. Validity: refers to how well the question measures what you intend to measure, the relationship between the answers and the true measure of the score. Your findings represent the phenomena you intend to measure.
II. Measure Facts
Questions should measure facts, as well as, subjective states such as attitudes, opinions and feelings. Through a survey you are essentially trying to show a predictable relationship to what are facts and the subjective states that are of interest.

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  1. Vary the types of questions
    • Open ended: allows for the survey taker to express additional information in their words that you would not have anticipated. This is helpful to gain insight to unexpected information.
      1. How has your membership or worship attendance changed over the last five years?
    • Closed: typically provides a list of acceptable responses.
      1. Yes/No questions: "Are you currently employed"
      2. Multiple choices – please select one option - Example "Are you currently employed: full time, part time, or seasonally/temporary?"
      3. Multiple choices - selects all that apply - Example "As a currently employed individual which of these issues are of most concern to you? - Provide a list of concerning issues for respondents to select from."
      4. Likert Rating scale – Likert Sample Scales: indication of a persons level of agreement with a statement based on a defined scale
      5. Ranking: the order of importance that influence the answers/decision
    • Combination of both: a multiple choice questions where respondents select one answer. Add the category of "other" where survey takers can expound or define an answer that is not listed into their own words.
Fowler, Floyd J., Jr. "Designing Questions to Be Good Measures." Survey Research Methods. 5th ed. Los Angeles: Sage Publications, 2014. 76+. Print.

Evaluation Development Worksheet
Survey Best Practices
For more information on assessment download the Assessment 101 PDF


Evaluation Design Resources

Focus Group/Interviewing Resources
Focus Group Interviews: Quick Tips
Data Collection Methods for Program Evaluation: Focus Groups
Using Focus Groups for Evaluation
Creating Good Interview and Survey Questions

Questionnaire Resources
5 Common Survey Question Mistakes


Evaluation Analysis Resources

How to Analyze Survey Results with Survey Monkey
Statistical Significance: Find Out if the Results You Received Are Statically Significant
Using Compare Rules to Cross-Tabulate Results
Filtering by Open-Ended Comments or Text


Evaluation Report Resources

Components of the Evaluation Report