Online course: Developing Quality Survey Questions

There is upcoming two-day online course on developing quality survey questions offered through the American Evaluation Association on March 27 and 29 from 3:00-4:30pm EST. I participated in a conference session on survey design facilitated by the course instructors a few years ago and found the information to be really valuable, especially about the cognitive processes that people go through in answering survey questions and common mistakes to avoid in developing questions.

The course is $75 for AEA members and $100 for non-members. Here is the description:

Surveys are a popular data collection tool for their ease of use and the promise of reaching large populations with a potentially small investment of time and technical resources. However, as survey fatigue grows, evaluators must be even more judicious in using surveys and craft richer, more concise, and more targeted questions to yield meaningful data. Successful survey research also requires an understanding of the cognitive processes that respondents employ in answering questions with accuracy and candor. Using rich examples and an interactive approach, facilitators will demonstrate why survey researchers must engage in a purposeful, respondent-centered survey design process in order to craft high quality questions – arguably the most critical element of any survey.

Participants in this session will work through the survey design process through a series of activities, developing an understanding of the cognitive aspects of survey response and question design. Participants will increase their ability to craft high quality survey questions, and leave with resources to further develop their skills, including a copy of the facilitators’ updated draft checklist for crafting quality questions, soon to be published in a textbook.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Why a purposeful, respondent-centered survey design process is so important.

  • Cognitive processes involved in answering survey questions and their implications for question design.

  • How to identify common problems with survey questions and ways to address them.

  • How to craft high quality open and closed-ended survey questions with appropriate response categories.

  • How to employ the facilitators’ checklist to ensure the development of high quality questions

To learn more and to register, please visit:



Thanks for sharing this, Mia! Another online course happening in 2018 is through INTRAC on monitoring, evaluation and learning: Online Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning - May-June 2018 - INTRAC. I’ve already signed up. :slight_smile: It’s a little expensive, but it feels like it’s this kind of stuff that many of us could really use some step-by-step help with. Happy friday! Kristin


Hi Kristin! Happy Friday indeed!!! It’s Forum Friday, a day when many of us hang out here in the forum so I’m glad to see you here too. Trusting you are keeping well. Would love to get an update from you on HURIDOCS - in a new topic perhaps?

If you could report back to us here with some key learnings from your INTRAC course as it moves along that would be great as well, for the benefit of those who are not able to attend. :sunflower:

1 Like