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APA Project – Survey Construction & Administration – Discussion (Assignment #2)

APA Project – Survey Construction & Administration – Discussion (Assignment #2)



Now that you have planned your APA research project, it’s time to develop your survey! Yay. This week you will be creating survey items related to your variables of interest. Once constructed, you will administer your pilot (draft) survey to your classmates and 20 friends and family. 

As mentioned in the Survey chapter Links to an external site.under the Writing Survey Items heading, survey items are either open-ended or closed-ended. Open-ended items simply ask a question and allow respondents to answer in whatever way they want. These questions are usually more qualitative in nature and are useful when researchers are beginning  a new area of research or when they want to broaden possible answers from respondents. These questions are easier to write, but harder to analyze.

Closed-ended items ask a question and provide several response options that respondents must choose from. They are often more quantitative in nature and are often used when researchers are investigating a well-defined variable or construct (for example, level of agreement or perceptions of risk). Closed-ended items are more difficult to write, but are easy for respondents to complete. They are also easier to analyze because responses can be quickly converted into numbers and analyzed using basic statistics (for example, frequencies, percentages, means, standard deviations). 

Often, surveys will include a mix of open-ended and closed-ended items depending on the topic, the participants, and the research questions under investigation. To give you experience in creating both types of questions, your survey will include both open and closed ended items.

Before you begin, please watch this 5-minute video from Pew Research on writing survey questions – Methods 101: Question Wording Links to an external site..

Main Discussion Post – Due Wednesday by 11:59pm

Part I: Survey Construction

Please construct your surveys using Google Forms Links to an external site..

Open-Ended Items:

  • Your survey must include  at least three open-ended items pertaining to your chosen variables of interest.
    • Make sure your questions are clear and that people understand what you are asking them. 
    • Be careful to create fair and neutral questions. Participants should not feel led to answer to give one response over the other. 

Closed-Ended Items:

  • Your survey must include  at least five closed-ended items pertaining to your chosen variables of interest.
    • Before you begin writing your own closed-ended questions, be sure to review next the page of this module (How to Construct Your Closed-Ended Response Options) and the example questions on the following pages! Closed-ended items can be used to collect both categorical and quantitative data. How each question is written determines the type of data collected, which statistical procedures can be conducted, and the insights you can gain from your questions. So, it’s critical that you plan how you’ll summarize your responses to questions while you’re designing your survey — not after you’ve collected the data.
      • So that you are not limited in your ability to analyze your results, please make sure that you include:
        • At least 1 closed-ended question that produces categorical data.
        • At least 2 closed-ended questions that produce quantitative data – i.e., they produce responses that are numerical or quantifiable (can be assigned a number using a rating scale).
          • An example of a quantifiable closed-ended survey would be a Likert scale.  (Check out the next pages for more help on this.)

Demographic Questions:

  • Your survey must include at least three demographic questions.
    • The first three questions must ask for 1) sex and/or gender, 2) age, and 3) race/ethnicity.
  • Additional demographic questions are optional, but may be necessary depending on your research topic (e.g., major, education level).
  • DO NOT ask for identifying information (e.g., name, email address) anywhere in your survey. All responses should be anonymous.
    • Demographic information is needed so that you can describe your sample when you write your Methods section.  You will learn more about how to write your Method section in the coming weeks, but for now, you can just read the example sentence below. You will use it as your template for writing about your sample.
      • “Data were collected from a sample of 20 participants, including 12 males and 8 females. The participants ranged in age from 18 to 25, with a mean age of 20.5 (SD = 2.27). A majority of the participants were Caucasian (60%), four were Asian (20%), and four were Black/African American (20%). …”
      • Make sure that you ask your demographic questions in such a way as to be able to conduct those analyses. For example, to calculate the mean and standard deviation of age, you must ask the question as an open-ended question.

Informed Consent:

  • All participants must provide informed consent before participating in your study. 
    • First, create your informed consent using the template below. Simply replace the highlighted sections with information that pertains to your research.
    • Then, copy and paste your informed consent into page 1 of your survey (questions should begin on page 2).

Informed Consent Template:

You have been asked to participate in a study on _______________. If you choose to participate, you will complete a questionnaire that will take about ___ minutes to complete.

Your answers to the surveys will be used in a Research Methods class. Students in the course are learning to conduct original research, and your help will contribute to their learning.

Your participation is voluntary. You do not have to answer any questions you do not want to and you can stop answering questions at any time, for any reason.

All responses are anonymous. Your name is not recorded and will not be linked to your results in any way.

If you have questions about the research, please contact me at _______________.


  • End each of your surveys with a debriefing statement. 
  • Create your debriefing statement using the template below. Simply replace the highlighted sections with information that pertains to your research.
  • Then, copy and paste your debriefing statement into the last page of your survey.

Debriefing Template:

Thank you for participating in this research. The purpose of this study is to _____________________. It is hypothesized that _________________.

If you have any questions, please contact me at: _____________________.

Putting It All Together:

You will create and administer your survey using Google Forms Links to an external site.. Before you start working, please review the lesson later in this module on how to create response options. When complete, your survey should have four pages/sections, organized in the following order:

  1. Informed consent
  2. Demographic questions
  3. Survey questions
  4. Debriefing statement

Note: Please do not mark any of your questions as “required” as this prevents your instructor from reviewing your questions without participating.

Part II: Survey Administration

Once you have constructed your survey using Google Forms, share the link with your classmates by posting it in this discussion, by Tuesday at 11:59pm. 

Next – Share the google link with 20 friends and family through social media so that you have at least 20 responses to your survey. 

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