Research - Skill - Surveys

Malc Prentice

  • Interviews Questionnaires

  • A "survey" basically means an Interviews or a Questionnaire

    Interview or Survey?

    For your class project, I recommend an Interview.

    Interviews Questionnaires

    You can only do 1-2 interviews a day You can send 10000
    Need to do it in person Can email or post
    Cannot be anonymous. Can be anonymous
    Not good for embarrassing questions A little better for embarrassing questions
    Everyone will probably finish Many questionnaires will go in bin
    Flexible - you can add questions Fixed - once you send it you can't change
    Hard to analyse (transcribe, code) Easier to analyse (especially if closed)
    Interviewer can change (bias) questions Questions always the same (reliable)
    Can see body language, expressions No body language, etc.

    My recommendation

    Interviews are best for finding out what a few people think/do when you are not sure.

    Questionnaires are best for checking something is true with a large number of people

    This means interviews are better than questionnaires for undergraduate projects because usually:



    Data type

    Writing good Interview questions

    Why are these bad questions?

    1. Do you enjoy dyadic interaction in your ESP class?
    2. In which ways have you and which ways have you not changed the way you teach based on your experience as a learner and as someone who lives in a foreign country?
    3. What would be the best way to learn Japanese for a Canadian student?
    4. What wouldn't you avoid doing if you were not in Japan?
    5. How much do you weigh?
    6. How much homework do you do every night?
    7. When did you stop stealing bicycles?
    8. Do you agree that punishing students, when done by a good teacher, is a good thing?
    9. How much time do you spend on the internet: 5-10 hours per week, 2-5 hours per week, 0-2 hours per week

    Principles of Question Writing

    Can you match any of the above questions to the problems below?

    Types of questions


    As I wrote above, I really don't recommend these for your project. However: