A common method of collecting data for a survey is to use a questionnaire. Questionnaires take many forms, and are carried out using a variety of methods.
The four main methods of collecting data are:
There are advantages and disadvantages to using each of these methods. One might be better suited to a particular survey than another.
Try this sample question to help you think about these different ways to collect data.
Write down the advantages and disadvantages of carrying out a face-to-face interview.
Questionnaires can include:
Whichever style (or styles) of questions you use, it is important that they are easy to understand, cover every possible answer, are unbiased (they do not lead respondents to give a particular answer) and unambiguous (they have a clear meaning). You must also ensure that they are appropriate to your survey.
How a question is phrased is very important, so it is useful to be able to spot a bad one.
Have a look at the following questions. Can you spot any problems with them?
You support Arsenal, don't you?
This is a biased question. The interviewee might feel pressurised into saying 'yes'. A better question would be: 'Which football team, if any, do you support?'
Are you a criminal?
It is unlikely that you will get a truthful answer to this, especially in a face-to-face interview!