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Unformatted text preview: Types of Questions All researchers must make two basic decisions when designing a survey--they must decide: 1) whether they are going to employ an oral, written, or electronic method, and 2) whether they are going to choose questions that are open or close-ended. Closed-Ended Questions: Closed-ended questions limit respondents' answers to the survey. The participants are allowed to choose from either a pre-existing set of dichotomous answers, such as yes/no, true/false, or multiple choice with an option for "other" to be filled in, or ranking scale response options. The most common of the ranking scale questions is called the Likert scale question. This kind of question asks the respondents to look at a statement (such as "The most important education issue facing our nation in the year 2000 is that all third graders should be able to read") and then "rank" this statement according to the degree to which they agree ("I strongly agree, I somewhat agree, I have no opinion, I somewhat disagree, I strongly disagree"). Open-Ended Questions: Open-ended questions do not give respondents answers to choose from, but rather are phrased so that the respondents are encouraged to explain their answers and reactions to the question with a sentence, a paragraph, or even a page or more, depending on the survey. If you wish to find information on the same topic as asked above (the future of elementary education), but would like to find out what respondents would come up with on their own, you might choose an open-ended question like "What do you think is the most important educational issue facing our nation in the year 2000?" rather than the Likert scale question. Or, if you would like to focus on reading as the topic, but would still not like to limit the participants' responses, you might pose the question this way: "Do you think that the most important issue facing education is literacy? Explain your answer below." Note: Keep in mind that you do not have to use close-ended or open-ended questions exclusively. Many researchers use a combination of closed and open questions; often researchers use close-ended questions in the beginning of their survey, then allow for more expansive answers once the respondent has some background on the issue and is "warmed-up." Advantages of Closed-Ended Questions...
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- Spring '08