Germany, Cologne

Questionnaire Design

when 15 August 2016 - 19 August 2016
language English
duration 1 week
credits 4 ECTS
fee EUR 250

Briefly speaking, a respondent’s answer can only be as good as the question being asked. Thus, an effective questionnaire is a key component of a survey, contributing to overall data quality. In addition to an overview of theoretical principles underlying questionnaire design, this course particularly aims at providing evidence-based practical advice on how to design good survey questions and questionnaires. Based on field-experimental studies evaluating various aspects of questionnaire design participants will acquire state of the art knowledge concerning questionnaire design. The course offers the opportunity to apply these competencies under the supervision of the lecturers in group exercises and assignments. The course will strengthen participants’ ability to design effective survey questions and to integrate them into a meaningful questionnaire.
You can find the full syllabus of the course with complete information on the topics, literature, and day-to-day schedule on

Course leader

Prof. Dr. Marek Fuchs is full professor for social science research methods at Darmstadt University of Technology, Germany;
Dr. Tanja Kunz is research associate in social science research methods at Darmstadt University of Technology, Germany.

Target group

Participants will find the course useful if they:
- plan to or are about to conduct a survey;
- would like to supplement their initial experience in designing questionnaires with practical advice based on a sound theoretical basis concerning the underlying mechanisms.

Basic knowledge in quantitative social science research methods is required; basic knowledge concerning survey design and data quality is advisable. Participants not familiar with the total survey error framework are encouraged to consider the preparatory reading mentioned at the end of this syllabus. There are no statistical prerequisites.
Course participants will need to bring a laptop computer for performing the practical exercises in this course. The laptop should have the following software installed: Office package.

Course aim

By the end of the course participants will:
- have an overview concerning the various components of survey data quality in general and questionnaire quality in particular;
- understand the cognitive processes underlying survey measurement for the various survey modes;
- be able to design simple survey questions of various types and to combine them in an integrated survey instrument.

Credits info

- Certificate of attendance issued upon completion.
Optional bookings:
- 2 ECTS points via the University of Mannheim for regular attendance and satisfactory work on daily assignments (EUR 20).
- 4 ECTS points via the University of Mannheim for regular attendance and satisfactory work on daily assignments and for submitting a paper/report of about 5000 words to the lecturer(s) up to 4 weeks after the end of the summer school (EUR 50).

Fee info

EUR 250: Student/PhD student rate.
EUR 350: Academic/non-profit rate.
Early bird discount: EUR 50 for applicants who book and pay by April 30.
The rates include the tuition fee, course materials, the academic program, access to library and IT facilities, coffee/tea, and a number of social activities.


10 DAAD scholarships are available via the Center for Doctoral Studies in Social and Behavioral Sciences (CDSS) at the University of Mannheim.