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Designing a questionnaire

Questionnaire design has an impact on response rates, reliability and validity (Saunders et al., 2015). It is crucial to examine the alignment among the various components of the research project: Research question/objective, data to be collected, questions to be used, etc.

A tool that can be useful in the questionnaire design process is the Data Requirements Table. Through this table one can examine their research plan and answer the following questions:

  • Is my research question clear, specific and concise?

  • What type of data is necessary for answering my research question?

  • What questions should I ask in order to collect relevant data?

Adapted from Saunders et al. (2015)

Tip: Each variable included in the research plan should be properly defined and its type identified. What are we trying to measure?

  • Opinion: “How respondents feel about something or what they think or believe is true or false”

  • Behavior: “What people (or their organizations) did in the past, do now or will do in the future.”

  • Attribute: “Data about the respondents’ characteristics” … things they possesses not things they do

In a recent session on questionnaire design, Dr. Roy Mouawad provided tips and insights for improving response rates, reliability and validity. To get free access to the slides get in touch with us at

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