eStudy 091- Designing Useful Surveys
eStudy 091- Designing Useful Surveys


Michelle Kobayashi MSPH, Vice President, National Research Center, Inc.


Surveys for program evaluation, performance measurement, or needs assessment can provide excellent information for evaluators. However, designing effective surveys requires an eye both to unbiased question design as well as the best methods for data administration. Neglecting these two aspects impacts the success of the survey.

This eStudy course will use lecture and homework assignments to review guidelines for survey development. We will use two national surveys, one used for measuring the performance of local governments and the other to assess the needs of older adults, to inform the creation of our own survey instruments.

Learning Outcomes:

List the pros and cons of the various survey methods
Understand the different forms of bias to avoid in sample design and survey construction
Utilize survey methods that will increase response rates and sample representation
Design questionnaires that are reliable and valid

Dates and Sessions:

July 17; 2:00-3:30(EST)

July 19; 2:00-3:30(EST)


Uses of surveys in evaluation
Comparing survey modes (mail, phone, web, in-person, etc.)
Choosing study designs
Sampling (probability and non-probability)


Design the study: Participants are given information from about a number of different scenarios and are asked to design studies and answer questions related to the methods they choose.
Design the survey: Participants are given topics and asked to design a short questionnaire.


Homework review
Data Collection (maximizing response rates, ensuring representation, calculating response rates)
Questionnaire Design (basic tenants, choosing stems, selecting response scales, etc.)


Michelle Kobayashi is co-author of three books and multiple articles on surveys including Citizen Surveys: a comprehensive guide to making them matter (International City/County Management Association, 2009). She has over 28 years of experience in performance measurement and needs assessment, and has conducted scores of workshops on research and evaluation methods for community based organizations, local government employees, elected officials and students.

Facilitation Experience:

I lead dozens of workshops every year with local government and non-profit staff.  I have led a form of this workshop multiple times for AEA.


Student Member Price- $40
Member Price- $75
Student Non-Member Price- $55
Non-Member Price- $100