Creating A Good Questionnaire
IB Geography Internal Assessment
Requirements for the IA
• 50 Completed Questionnaires
– No limit on how many questions, though it must
not take up more than the front and back of 1
sheet of paper.
– Include demographic questions first
– 6 Completed Interviews
– Typed Transcripts must be submitted
Advantages and Disadvantages of
• Advantages
– Can assess a large group quickly
– Easy to analyze if constructed correctly
• Disadvantages
– Requires “good” language skills
– Some people give answers they think you want
– Not very good for getting in-depth information
The Basics
• The purpose of a questionnaire in this case is
to yield quantifiable data based on participant
• There are 2 main types of questions asked in
questionnaires: open and closed.
Open Questions
• Used to explore topics in-depth
• Advantage: Gives people a chance to
respond in detail and explain their
• Disadvantage: They are time-consuming
for you to summarize and analyze
Examples of Open Questions
• What do you think of ….?
• What do you like about….?
Open Questions
• Open-ended Questions
– Example:
– What changes would you like to see in our science class?
• Stem Plus Questions
• Some things I would like to see change in our science class are
Closed Questions
• A closed question is one where the
respondent is limited to one or more of a
limited range of options.
• Advantages:
– Questionnaires based on closed questions are
much easier and quicker to analyze.
– A large amount of information can be processed in
a short period of time.
Closed Questions
• Disadvantages:
– Respondents tend to presume the answer in advance
– Respondents may put what they think you want to see
– Data may not be entirely accurate because they may be
rounding to fit your answer choices
– More inclined to lie when they see possible answers
– it is sometimes necessary to add a catch-all category of
– Questionnaires that have numerous Yes/No questions are
unlikely to yield much useful data, or allow for interesting
methods of presentation
Examples of Closed Questions
• Here are 2 examples of closed questions:
– Do you agree that the new school is good for the
community? Yes/No
– How many times do you visit the grocery store
each month? 1, 1-2, 3-5, >5
Closed Questions
• Dichotomous Questions (2 choices)
– Yes/No
– Agree/Disagree
Do you think a paper recycling program should
be started in your school?
Closed Questions
• Multiple-choice Questions
– Give respondents options
– May ask for single or multiple answers
How did you hear about our Website?
___ Newspaper
___ Magazine
___ Radio
___ Internet
___ Other: Please specify __________
Closed Questions
• Rank Order Questions
– Respondents place things in order
– Example:
– Which activities do you like to do in your spare time?
Place a “1” next to the activity that you like to do most, a
“2” by the next favorite, and so on to the least favorite.
___ Watch TV
___ Read
___ Visit friends
___ Surf the Internet
___ Shop
Closed Questions
• Rating Scale (Semantic Differential)
– Also called a “Likert Scale”
– Give a statement; choose your response along a scale
– Example:
My students are motivated to learn.
Not Sure
Effects of Scales
• The police need to
do a better job of
enforcing traffic
Agree or
– 2 Level
- 3 level
Effects of Scales
5 Level
Demographics Questions
• Demographic questions may ask about
personal characteristics such as -– age
– ethnicity
– gender
– home characteristics
Things to Avoid
Unclear or ambiguous questions
What do you think about school?
What role should the principal play in educating
Things to Avoid
• Know your audience
• Make sure that the length, content, and
wording matches the intended audience
• Keep questions clear and concise
• Avoid technical wording
Things to Avoid
• Will the question help you to answer the
fieldwork question? Will it help you formulate
a good argument?
• A question may be well-written, but possibly
won’t yield you good enough data to answer
the fieldwork question.
• This is why it is so important to sit down with
your group and really think about what data
you need to answer your fieldwork question.
Some Guidelines for Interviewees
• Choose who you interview very intentionally.
• Divide your interviewees into 2 groups:
– Experts: doctors, alderman, police, park district
workers, priests, grocery store managers, etc.
– Sample of the varying population groups: sample
of men/women, black/white/hispanic, high
education/low education, many children/no
children, good health/poor health, someone who
lives in food desert/someone who doesn’t,
someone from high crime
neighborhood/someone from low crime, etc.
The Questions
• Your questions will change depending on who
you’re interviewing.
• Aim to have enough questions to get an indepth response in between 15-20 minutes.
• Questions should all be open ended, providing
plenty of opportunity for interviewee to
respond with explanations, details, and
• Avoid bias at all costs!
Timeline of due dates
• Thursday (9/11) and Friday (9/12) (after map
quiz): Time in class to work with group on
creation of questionnaires
• 10 blank questionnaires due Monday (9/15)
• Questionnaire first draft (paper copy, 1 per
group) due Wednesday (9/17)
• Return of graded first drafts/feedback
provided Friday (9/19)
• Final Draft of Questionnaire due, 1 English, 1
Spanish Copy, Thursday (9/25)
Making Meaning Protocol
• Facilitator (1 per group) gives time for
students to read the text silently. Facilitator
will ask questions and take notes of groups
• Discussion Questions:
– What do you see? (2 minutes)
– What questions does this text raise for you? (2
– What is significant about this text? (2 min)
– What are the implications for our own
questionnaires? (2 min)

Creating A Good Questionnaire