Questionnaire Design


05/07/2023 - 06/07/2023

Organised by:

Social Research Association


Dr Pamela Campanelli


Entry (no or almost no prior knowledge)


Lindsay Adams
E: (preferred method of contact)
T: 02024 551 3864

video conference logo

Venue: Online


This live online course explores the art of writing effective survey questions and combining them into a meaningful questionnaire.


Have you ever discovered too late that your survey questions did not deliver useful or useable data? This course highlights ways to avoid pitfalls in the wording of individual survey questions as well as for the questionnaire whole. It also points out questionnaire design differences between face-to-face and telephone interviews, web and mobile web surveys and paper self-completion. Drawing on 30 years of the instructor’s experience and research findings from questionnaire design experiments, this course is full of practical advice.


  • Types of survey questions
  • Getting started with a new questionnaire
  • Trade-offs – questions that are short and simple versus those that are clear and unambiguous; increasing clarity through breaking complex questions into a series of short simple questions versus a longer questionnaire
  • Four cognitive steps a respondent takes when answering a survey question
  • Key principles of design questions
  • Solutions to ambiguous words and phrases
  • Additional issues for factual versus subjective questions
  • Appendix on memory and sensitive question solutions
  • Why demographic questions are always the most difficult to write
  • Certain question formats to beware of or avoid
  • Mode of data collection differences
  • The questionnaire as a whole with differences between face-to-face and telephone interviews, web and mobile web surveys and paper self-completion
  • Workshops on critiquing survey questions, on writing new survey questions and on improving existing survey questions


By the end of the course, participants will:

  • Have a knowledge of the different aspects involved in writing good survey questions and questionnaires,
  • Have the ability to write their own high quality questionnaires
  • Have the tools to critique existing surveys
  • Have awareness about the differences in questionnaire design between face-to-face and telephone surveys, web and mobile web surveys and paper self-completion.

Who will benefit?

The course will benefit anyone who wishes to conduct their own survey or commission a survey. • The course is suitable for people new to questionnaire design as well as those who have experience, but would like to deepen their knowledge.
Learning outcomes

Participants will have a good awareness of the optimal ways to word individual questions and create the questionnaire as a whole.
Course tutor

Dr Pamela Campanelli is a Survey Methods Consultant and runs The Survey Coach business. She is also a Chartered Statistician and Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences. She has worked at the University of Michigan, the U.S. Bureau of the Census, ISER at the University of Essex, and NatCen Social Research. She has both led and been a team member on ESRC grants (one on survey nonresponse and one on measurement error in mixed mode surveys). She regularly teaches short courses in the UK and abroad for government departments, survey research companies, universities, as well as for various other institutions and businesses. She believes in delivering courses that are lively and engaging and foster an informal and interactive atmosphere.


£200.00 SRA members pay £165.00

Website and registration:




Survey and Questionnaire Design

Related publications and presentations:

Survey and Questionnaire Design

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