COM 295 Week 3 Discussion Question Designing a Survey

Class the text chapter covers many elements involved in creating an effective survey. I would like the class to have fun with the notion of creating surveys so we can experiment a bit with creating such messages. Please select a topic, any topic, of keen interest to you. Follow the sections in the text discussing surveys and create a short five question survey covering the topic of interest to you. Upon completing the survey discuss the following points in each fellow student’s posting.

  1. Was the targeted audience apparent from the survey design?
  2. Do the questions make sense to you?
  3. Offer one or more suggestions that could improve the survey based on the text materials.

Job Satisfaction Survey

Using the scale provided, record your answer by circling the number that is closest to your view where 5 is a very positive response (you strongly agree with the statement) and 1 is a very negative choice (you do not agree at all with the statement).


Do Not Agree          Neutral       Strongly Agree

1.     Do you feel valued by your superiors?

2.     Do you feel connected and valued in your workplace?

3.     Do you feel that your actions are overly scrutinized by peers and supervisors?

4.     Are you fairly paid for the work you perform?

5.     Do you believe that workers are treated fairly by your company?

1  2  3  4  5

1  2  3  4  5

1  2  3  4  5

1  2  3  4  5

1  2  3  4  5



The questions make sense and I believe the audience is evident from the questions. I believe that the survey could be improved by creating more questions which are focused on satisfaction issues such as desiring to leave the job.



Designing a survey to conduct research presents many advantages and disadvantages. The advantages of surveys include:

  1. Surveys are relatively inexpensive.
  2. Surveys are useful in describing the characteristics of a large population.
  3. They can be administered from remote locations using mail, email or telephone.
  4. Very large samples are feasible, making the results statistically significant.
  5. Standardized questions make measurement more precise by enforcing uniform definitions upon the participants.
  6. Standardization ensures that similar data can be collected from groups then interpreted comparatively.
  7. Usually, high reliability is easy to obtain–by presenting all subjects with a standardized stimulus, observer subjectivity is greatly eliminated.

The disadvantages of surveys include:

  1. A methodology relying on standardization forces the researcher to develop questions general enough to be minimally appropriate for all respondents, possibly missing what is most appropriate to many respondents.
  2. Surveys are inflexible in that they require the initial study design (the tool and administration of the tool) to remain unchanged throughout the data collection.
  3. The researcher must ensure that a large number of the selected sample will reply.
  4. It may be hard for participants to recall information or to tell the truth about a controversial question.
  5. As opposed to direct observation, survey research (excluding some interview approaches) can seldom deal with “context.”

One of the most significant problems with surveys is in their design. Loaded questions can create a response bias. A loaded question biases the response given by the participant by constructing a question which incites or implies a particular response.  For instance, asking a question that begins with “Don’t you agree…” is an example of question that implies that the participant should agree.

Response bias of this nature is often a problem in focus groups.  Because focus groups are a form of qualitative research in which people are asked about their perceptions, opinions, beliefs and attitudes towards a subject; researchers can bias these results easily (Cardon, 2014). Focus groups need to be used for marketing, product research and other areas of subjective research, but the researcher must be careful in how questions are presented and written.