Closed and Open Questionnaires
With closed questionnaires, the questions tend to be multi-choice and are set out like a tally. Closed questionnaires are also usually only answered with a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ response. This can sometimes be seen as vague if evaluating your questionnaires because the answers can’t be expanded upon and are very limited.
Here are some characteristics of closed questionnaires:
· They give you facts.
· They are easy to answer.
· They are quick to answer.
· They keep control of the conversation with the questioner.
Open questionnaires, on the other hand, have a much more extended base. The responses collected from the participants will tend to be longer and provide either an example or an opinion, depending upon the question. Open questionnaires gather qualitative data and don’t tend to be vague. Open questions begin with such as: what, why, how, describe.
· They ask the respondent to think and reflect.
· They will give you opinions and feelings.
· They hand control of the conversation to the respondent.
When opening conversations, a good balance is around three closed questions to one open question. The closed questions start the conversation and summarize progress, whilst the open question gets the other person thinking and continuing to give you useful information about them.