Learning and Evaluation/Archive/Learning modules/3Avoid Double-barreled Questions

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Part 1: Introduction

Why Survey?
Why Surveys Are Useful
Survey instruments
Types of information
Attributes - a special case
Survey Objective and Planning

Part 2: Reliability & Validity

Reliability & Validity
Face Validity
Content Validity
Criterion Validity
Construct Validity

Part 3: Question Construction

Writing Good Questions
Questions from Existing Surveys
Constructing your own Questions
Be Specific
Be Concise
Avoid Double Negatives
Minimize Social Desirability Bias
Avoid Double-barreled questions
Avoid abbreviations, jargon, technical terms, or slang
Avoid leading questions
Avoid loaded questions
Use appropriate wording
Ask useful questions
Rely on second-hand data sparsely
Use caution when asking personal questions

Part 4: Response Options

Question types
Dichotomous pairs
Multiple choice
Check all that apply
Choosing response options

Part 5: Questionnaire structure

Important considerations
Questions order
Additional Resources

  Wikimedia Training Designing Effective Questions Menu

Avoid double-barreled questions

A double barreled question is one that is really two questions in one. See the example below:

To know the experience level of participants who attended an editing workshop.

Very Poor:
Had you ever edited Wikipedia and Commons before this workshop?
This is actually asking two questions; whether participants edited Wikipedia or whether they edited Commons.
Had you ever edited Wikipedia before this workshop?
Had you ever edited Commons before this workshop?
While some participants may have edited commons, most people typically participate in commons by uploading a photo.
(all three)
  • Have you ever edited Wikipedia?
  • Have you ever uploaded a photo to Wikimedia Commons?
  • Have you ever edited Wikimedia Commons?
These three questions asked separately better gets at editor's previous experience on Wikipedia and Commons. More questions could be used as well to get a sense of participants' level of experience.