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Understand how to Design a Questionnaire

In this worksheet, students criticise questions from a questionnaire.

'Understand how to Design a Questionnaire' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 4

GCSE Subjects:   Maths

GCSE Boards:   AQA, Eduqas, Pearson Edexcel, OCR

Curriculum topic:   Statistics

Curriculum subtopic:   Statistics, Sampling

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

When you are collecting data, you frequently need to speak to people to gather the information that you are looking for.

 

To do this you will normally use a questionnaire.

 

When designing questions for a questionnaire there are some rules that you need to stick to so that the information you collect isn't biased (unfair).

 

Rule 1: Never ask a leading question designed to get a certain response.

Bad Question: I think action films are the best, do you agree?

Improved Question: What is your favourite type of film?

 

Rule 2: Never ask a personal or irrelevant question?

Bad Question: How old are you?

Improved question: Which of the following age ranges do you fit into?

 

Rule 3: Make sure the ranges don't overlap

Bad Question: How many hours do you exercise a week?

 

0 - 1   

 

1 - 2   

 

2 - 4

 

Note that for this one, if you exercised for 2 hours, you wouldn't know which box to enter the data in.

 

Improved Question: How many hours do you exercise a week?

 

0 < x ≤ 1   

 

1 < x ≤ 2

 

2 < x ≤ 3

Using the inequalities allows us to cover each option but not duplicate them.

 

Rule 4: Cover all the options.

Bad Question: What colour is your hair? Red, Black, Brunette, Blonde

Improved Question: What colour is your hair? Red, Black, Brunette, Blonde, None, Other

 

The usual way you can deal with this is to put options for None or Other (if they are appropriate)

A question from a questionnaire reads...

 

How many hours do you go to the gym each week?

0 - 1

1 - 2

3 - 4

 

Which two of the following criticisms can you make about this question?

Leading

Personal/irrelevant

Overlapping

Not enough options

A question from a questionnaire reads...

 

I think that people who live in my postcode are better than anyone else.  Where do you live?

 

Which of the two following criticisms can you make about this question?

Leading

Personal/irrelevant

Overlapping

Not enough options

You should never ask someone their age because it is a ...

Leading

Personal/irrelevant

Overlapping

Not enough options

You should never give your opinion because...

Leading

Personal/irrelevant

Overlapping

Not enough options

For each of these questions, state if it is valid or invalid.

Which one of the following is a valid range when collecting the ages of pupils in a school?

0 - 5, 6 - 11, 11 - 14, 14 - 16

5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16

4 - 10, 11 - 16

James wants to find out how much students in his school spend on their lunch.

He stands outside and asks students:

 

'How much did you spend on Lunch'?

 

Which two of the following criticisms can you make about this question?

Leading

Personal/irrelevant

Overlapping

Not enough options

Bill asks 20 people how many days a week they went to the Gym.

 

He used the following answer options:

 

1   2   3   4   5

 

 Which of the following criticisms would you make about his approach?

Leading

Personal/Irrelevant

Overlapping

Not enough options

I am collecting the ages of people who are learning to drive in the UK. 

 

Which of the following options should I have in my answer sections about age groups?

0 - 16

17 - 25

26 - 35

46 - 49

50 - 65

Over 65

A question from a questionnaire reads...

 

'People with back problems don't sit properly, what's your opinion?'

 

What would be your criticism of this as a questionnaire question?

Leading

Personal

Overlappying

Not enough options

  • Question 1

A question from a questionnaire reads...

 

How many hours do you go to the gym each week?

0 - 1

1 - 2

3 - 4

 

Which two of the following criticisms can you make about this question?

CORRECT ANSWER
Overlapping
Not enough options
EDDIE SAYS
The question itself is fine. The problems come in the answer options. 1) Where would someone who did 1 hour a week put their answer? 2) What if someone did 5 hours a week?
  • Question 2

A question from a questionnaire reads...

 

I think that people who live in my postcode are better than anyone else.  Where do you live?

 

Which of the two following criticisms can you make about this question?

CORRECT ANSWER
Leading
Personal/irrelevant
EDDIE SAYS
There are two problems with this. 1) There is an opinion stated (I think...) 2) Is it appropriate to ask someone where they live?
  • Question 3

You should never ask someone their age because it is a ...

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
There are times when you need to collect personal information but you should always phrase it as a range.
  • Question 4

You should never give your opinion because...

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
The key word to look out for here is 'I think...' or a statement over a question. Never give your opinion because it will lead to the interviewee following your lead.
  • Question 5

For each of these questions, state if it is valid or invalid.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Both the first and third are giving an opinion so they are leading and need to be rewritten.
  • Question 6

Which one of the following is a valid range when collecting the ages of pupils in a school?

CORRECT ANSWER
4 - 10, 11 - 16
EDDIE SAYS
Two of these are inappropriate. The first option is not going to work because children don't go to school until they are 4! The second is far too specific (and could be seen as personal)! Can you identify which is which?
  • Question 7

James wants to find out how much students in his school spend on their lunch.

He stands outside and asks students:

 

'How much did you spend on Lunch'?

 

Which two of the following criticisms can you make about this question?

CORRECT ANSWER
Personal/irrelevant
Not enough options
EDDIE SAYS
There are two problems with this. 1) It's very personal 3) Does standing outside the canteen represent all the pupils in school. What about those people who have packed lunch?
  • Question 8

Bill asks 20 people how many days a week they went to the Gym.

 

He used the following answer options:

 

1   2   3   4   5

 

 Which of the following criticisms would you make about his approach?

CORRECT ANSWER
Not enough options
EDDIE SAYS
There is not actually a problem with this as a question. The issue is with the answer options. Could everyone he asked respond accurately with the options given? Does it cover all the possible options? What about those people who visited their gym every day in a week?
  • Question 9

I am collecting the ages of people who are learning to drive in the UK. 

 

Which of the following options should I have in my answer sections about age groups?

CORRECT ANSWER
17 - 25
26 - 35
46 - 49
50 - 65
Over 65
EDDIE SAYS
You need to think which of these ages can't learn to drive. You can't get your license until you are 17 years old in the UK, so it would not make sense to ask people who are younger than this! Anyone in the other categories could learn to drive.
  • Question 10

A question from a questionnaire reads...

 

'People with back problems don't sit properly, what's your opinion?'

 

What would be your criticism of this as a questionnaire question?

CORRECT ANSWER
Leading
EDDIE SAYS
Did you spot the correct option? Although it asks a question did you spot that we were made aware of the interviewer's beliefs first? The statement at the start is an indication of a leading question because it's giving an opinion.
---- OR ----

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