Each day at Campus Labs our consultants spend the day staring at evaluations. We see many well written questions as well as some that need improvement. Whether creating a new course evaluation or simply revamping an existing one, here are some suggestions to think about when writing your questions.
Tip 1: Beware of the AND / OR statements
Be careful when writing questions that include “and” / “or”. When using and/or, we do not know if the respondent was answering the first part of the question, the second part, or both.
Tip 2: Avoid or use sparingly the phrases all of the above or none of the above
We also recommend avoiding the following terms from your questions:
Every, only, completely, none, all, totally, never, as well as always, trivial, too much, often, frequently. These terms can be leading and confuse the respondent when answering the survey.
Tip 3: Leading Questions
When writing evaluation questions, be careful to make sure they are not leading. The data will not be useful to anyone who is viewing the results. Leading questions are often answered with a Yes or No.
Tip 4: Not Applicable Questions
It is not recommended to include questions that may not be applicable to all students. Campus Labs provides tools to ensure that questions are only shown to appropriate course sections.
Tip 5: Phrase options positively, not negatively
When writing questions, ensure they are written with positive terms. When assessing curriculum we want to encourage the respondent to give helpful feedback based on their experience with the course.
Tip 6: Choose response choices carefully
Include between three and five options for each question. We recommend beginning with the positive response choice. Whenever possible group questions together by the response set so the survey is shorter and easier to complete.
For one-on-one consultation on your campus course evaluation, contact your consultant! Also, check out Example Evaluation Questions.