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Tips on how to Make a Questionnaire or Survey


Many students are confused about the meanings of “survey” and “questionnaire,” and even professional researchers sometimes use these terms as synonyms. In fact, a survey and a questionnaire are two separate things. In this article, we are going to explain what the difference is: survey vs questionnaire.

What's the Difference between a Survey and a Questionnaire?

A questionnaire includes a series of questions and other instruments that allow gathering information from respondents. Usually, they are used to make a statistical analysis, but might be used for other targets, as well. A survey, aside from the set of questions, also includes such processes as collecting, aggregating, and analyzing the received responses. So what's the difference? Simply put, a questionnaire definition tells us that it presents the content, while a survey presents the content, describes the method and analysis.

Questionnaire Writing Tips

Any series of questions, whether it is a general or personal subject matter, is a questionnaire. Whether your task is to design a questionnaire or a survey, to get good results, you have to ask good questions. Additionally, while working on a questionnaire, pay attention to its length. You should keep in mind that as the number of questions rises, the completion rate usually lessens. For example, questionnaires that have 30 questions end up with about 15% lower response rate than the ones which have 10 questions. Besides, while creating a questionnaire, consider that people tend to spend avg 10 minutes to fill it out. Therefore, by asking fewer questions, you provide your responder with higher chances to spend more time on each of them.

How to Produce a Survey?

The questions offered in a survey is not the only thing that plays a part in its results. The way you design, implement, and analyze it also plays a big role. A survey design involves all the parts of your survey – starting with the definition of the survey goals and ending with the alignment on who reviews the responses. The way of collecting responses is also important. Multiple approaches can be used to collect feedback, among which are sharing a link to the survey on Facebook, Twitter or other SM page, emailing it to respondents, embedding it on your website, etc. By the way, if you need some help with surveying your target market, try using SurveyMonkey Audience. This tool can also help to take a closer look at the responses as they come in. Just use SurveyMonkey Analyze. It offers a multiplicity of ways to segment, aggregate, and analyze the responses to your survey, which greatly helps to better understand the feedback and come up with great decisions.

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Using a Questionnaire instead of a Survey – and Vice Versa

We hope that now you have finally understood the difference between a survey and a questionnaire. Now, let’s find out when you can use a questionnaire instead of a survey – and vice versa. There are very limited cases, in which you should use a questionnaire that stands alone. Among them, there is accepting payments or donations, building an email list, collecting personal accounts for a research project, etc. If you need assistance with a questionnaire, try using Wufoo. It is especially good when payments are involved.

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However, now that you know how to make a questionnaire, if you are looking for some kind of feedback from your respondents, you should design a survey instead of a questionnaire. This way, you will get aggregated data from a big number of respondents, which will help you make broad conclusions about your results.

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