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

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Questionnaires can be used to gather data for research studies. Some questionnaires employ both open and closed questions while others may mix both. Open questions give the respondents to respond in their own words. Closed questions provide a set of answers which they can pick from. Questionnaires can also be accessed via mail, telephone or online.

Online questionnaire surveys are becoming more popular however it is important to ensure that the information collected are reliable and accurate. To ensure this researchers must accurately measure response rates and monitor the number of respondents to the survey. The researcher must also be able to identify possible reasons why a person isn’t responding and take steps to address these issues (e.g., sampling bias).

Online questionnaires are also less expensive than traditional methods. This makes them a viable alternative to traditional questionnaire based research. However this method isn’t without its limitations: online questionnaires can be difficult to analyze for their quality and validity and can lead to social desirability effects on the respondent sample.

There are numerous methods to minimize the negative impact of these limitations on online questionnaires and web-based experiments. This article will discuss specific strategies that researchers can use to increase the reliability and quality of online questionnaires. These include: (i), paying participants immediately after they finish the survey yields a lower rate of response than waiting for all the responses or an intermediary method; (iii), asking participants to input their names for receipt preparation doesn’t decrease or increase the likelihood of them being socially desirable; and (iv), framing the fixed portion of the participant’s payment as”for completing the survey” and providing feedback on progress enhances the quality of answers

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