Cologne, Germany

Questionnaire Design

online course
when 2 August 2021 - 6 August 2021
language English
duration 1 week
credits 4 EC
fee EUR 400

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 the, participants' ability to design effective survey questions and to integrate them into a meaningful questionnaire.

Course leader

Prof. Dr. Marek Fuchs is full professor for 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 the according 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

4 EC
- Certificate of attendance issued upon completion.
Optional bookings:
- 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 400: Student/PhD student rate.
EUR 600: Academic/non-profit rate.
The rates include the tuition fee and the course materials.


10 scholarships for participation are available from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).