Making a Good Survey with LimeSurvey

LimeSurvey is a free and open-source online survey application used to create a wide range of online surveys and questionnaires. The software gives users the ability to develop and publish online surveys and collect responses without doing any programming. 

Whether you have created and activated a LimeSurvey survey and just aren’t getting the results you wanted or you’re preparing to make your first survey, there are some basic tips you can use to make a good survey. 

In this article we will cover:

Three Features of a Good Survey

LimeSurvey suggests that there are three features of a survey that will help elicit the proper responses needed for a more accurate assessment:

  1. All questions are clear and precise, collectively allowing for detailed, unambiguous, and meaningful answers.
  2. All predefined answers provided and their formats are appropriate to the question.
  3. When called for, there is room for people to add additional information.

Good Survey Guidelines

Additionally, it is always important you keep the user experience in mind. You want to try to limit tiring activities like reading, scrolling, and clicking.

With that in mind, here are some useful guidelines to follow:

  • Avoid unnecessary questions.
  • Use conditions to keep questions relevant to specific participants.
  • Keep questions and answers short and easy to read.
  • Consider the trade-off between scrolling and clicking. Try to display everything on one page for shorter questionnaires (5-15 questions). Group questions in a way that makes sense to your participants. Use group descriptions to provide a clear statement about the topic of the questions that follow.
  • Keep scales consistent so as to not confuse participants. Try not to change the direction of scales unless necessary.

Good Survey Questions

A good survey has good questions. 

There are two types of questions you can ask to control what type of response you receive.

  • Open-ended: The person answers in their own words
  • Closed-ended:  The person chooses from a limited number of options

Carefully consider each question of your surveys and decide if they should be open-ended or closed-ended. 

If you are searching for deeper insight into responses, use open-ended questions. If this is not the case, close-ended questions can be useful.

However, be sure to avoid simple yes/no questions unless a yes/no answer is all you expect in response.  

As a basic rule, questions should be non-suggestive. You don’t want to steer your participants towards a particular answer. 

Keep these guidelines in mind when creating your surveys with LimeSurvey and you will have a much better chance at producing good surveys that get the responses you hoped for.

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