How to Increase the Quality and Reliability of Online Questionnaires and Web Experiments

How to Increase the Quality and Reliability of Online Questionnaires and Web Experiments


Questionnaires can be used to gather information for research studies. They typically have open or closed questions, although some questionnaires may use an amalgam of both. Open questions allow the respondents to answer in their own terms while closed questions give a predetermined set of responses that they can choose from. Questionnaires can be administered in one of several ways, including through face-to-face interviews, telephone calls postal mail, or online.

Online questionnaire surveys have become more common however, it’s crucial to ensure that the data collected are valid and reliable. To ensure this, the researcher should be able to accurately measure response rates and track the amount of people who fill out the survey. The researcher must be able to identify the possible reasons why someone might not respond and address these concerns (e.g. sampling bias).

Additionally the cost for conducting online surveys is less than traditional methods and can be an appealing alternative to traditional research using questionnaires. However, this method is not without its drawbacks: online questionnaires can be difficult to evaluate for their reliability and validity and can lead to social desirability impacts in the sample of respondents.

There are several strategies to minimize these limitations. This article outlines specific strategies that researchers can use to improve the reliability and quality of their online questionnaires. These include: (i), paying participants immediately after they complete the survey results in the lowest response rate than waiting for all responses or a middleman procedure; (iii), asking participants to fill in their names so that receipt preparation doesn’t decrease or increase social desirability as well as (iv) framing the fixed portion of a participant’s payment as “for taking the survey » and providing feedback on progress improves the quality of answers


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