Assessment: Preparing a survey questionnaire
This assignment asks you to prepare a survey questionnaire on a topic that interests you. Your assignment should be around 2,000 words (10 per cent below or above is fine). The topic area should be within the social sciences, particularly within the scope of sociology. Topics might include:
– perceptions of climate change and mitigation policies
– support for public transport in a local government area
– attitudes toward asylum seekers among Australians
– attitudes to roles of religion in Australian society
– priorities for welfare and government spending
– social networks and friendships
– family life in Australia today
Develop a report with five other sections to explain how you have
Developed your questionnaire.
1. Research question/problem and scope of research (up to 500 words)
This section should double as an introduction. Outline your research question or problem.
You should include: some discussion of prior research in this area (and whether survey
research was involved); a discussion of what you would like to establish from the survey
research, and why the survey method would be sensible for this research. Introducing key
hypotheses would help here.
2. Sampling frame, sampling methods and sampling problems (up to 500 words)
Please provide details about: your sampling frame; the method for selecting individuals to
survey (respondents), including any decision in favour of random or non-random sampling;
and, any problems that may be encountered in sampling for this study. These can include
problems of locating the sample, ethics, locating small and/or vulnerable populations,
problems with response rates etc.
3. Administration and fieldwork decisions (up to 500 words)
You might choose to discuss: preferred method of administering survey (telephone, faceto-face
interviews, mail survey, and internet) and possible problems with your chosen
mode); decisions about survey format, briefing/handling an interviewer team, and
anticipated problems with survey response patterns (who does not respond, timeliness of
responses etc.); coding and managing data files. You can also canvass ethical issues.
4. Questionnaire (up to 500 words excluding the questionnaire itself)
Include a questionnaire as an appendix, simply formatted, with up to 30 items. (This can
include items with multiple parts like matrix questions). You should include a discussion
about design matters, perhaps drawing on the following: decisions about the type of
questions (Likert scales, forced choice, open-ended questions, and scales) and the
balance between attitudinal, factual/behavioural and demographic items; question order;
handling problems of non-response; handling problems of cognitively complex questions
and avoiding ‘socially desirable’ responses and other response biases; managing
problems of validity and reliability; and, other problems you envisage.
Note: You can use questions from other surveys but provide the sources. Making up some
of your own is also encouraged.
5. Opportunities for triangulation
This section should double as a conclusion. Briefly sum up before commenting briefly on
the opportunities for combining results with other social research methodologies to either
validate or deepen the findings of this project.