Designing Quality Survey Questionsthe book, the workshop, the course and the approach are focused on getting results – good data AND good response rates – through a respondent-centered approach. After my co-author and collaborator Kim Leonard and I wrote an article on tips for getting a good response rate, James Pann, Ph.D., evaluation consultant and Associate Professor at Nova Southeastern University contacted me wanting to go deeper on that topic on his podcast. He had interviewed me once before on a design thinking approach for surveys.  

Here is some of what we cover in the interview:

  • Why I’m even interested in survey research
  • Why a good survey response rate is critical
  • The optimal response rate
  • Ensuring accurate demographic representation of the sample
  • How to improve your survey response rate
  • Why the survey invitation message is critical
  • Being transparent to respondents about how long the survey is
  • How survey reminders can be used to improve response rate
  • Incentives – using them carefully
  • The timing of incentives and the influence principle of reciprocity
  • Administration – how building survey completion time into program activities can increase response rate
  • The importance of piloting and pretesting surveys
  • Where the survey comes from and who sends it can significantly influence response rate



Want to learn more? Kim and I are now offering our workshop Designing Quality Survey Questions as an online course, open to the public! You get a comprehensive 5-hr course and participant workbook along with two expert instructors to answer all your survey design questions. Learn more about the course and register for the next session. You’ll never look at a survey the same way!

Interested in a talk or workshop on any of the topics I offer? I’d love to chat with you.