Creating a more reliable survey: Five tips for the real world


Ontario Health Promotion Resource System

Designing surveys that will provide an accurate reflection of people’s attitudes or behaviours involves multiple steps, each of which takes time and thought. Some steps in designing a survey include determining: the purpose of your evaluation and whether a survey is the right data collection method; who to invite to take your survey; how the survey will be provided (self-administered versus interviewer-administered; paper versus online); when the data will be collected; what questions will be asked; and how the data will be analyzed and presented. The purpose of this article is to provide five tips for creating questions for a self-administered survey. While it is not possible to discuss all of the steps in detail within this article; helpful resources for conducting these steps are made available at the end.  

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