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How to Write Better Surveys

Introduction

The widespread availability of online survey tools like Zoomerang®, SurveyMonkey®, and so forth, have made it much easier to use surveys to collect data. Anyone can create and send a survey in a few minutes. However, the ease with which one can create surveys has obscured the difficulty of creating good (valid and reliable) surveys. “Good survey questions are hard to write—they take significant time to develop and hone” (Russ-Eft & Preskill, 2009, p. 268).

Many of the surveys we see (including some from commercial measurement firms) contain questions that are difficult to understand or impossible ...

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