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FeatureFriday: Single Choice Questions – Learn How to Use and Benefit from Them with LimeSurvey

Author: Stuart Kondziella | Feature Friday | June 02, 2017

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    Find Out About the Essentials of Single Choice Questioning

    Singe choice questions are a subcategory of multiple choice question types. Typically, multiple choice questions consist of specific components: the stem is usually a question posed to a survey participant. This stem can be a sentence that requires completing, a problem that requires solving, a topic that requires assessing as well as any additional information that comes with the question. The key is described as the correct answer among all the given answer options, the so-called items. The remaining incorrect answer options are called distractors.
    However, this has to be treated with caution as it depends on the type of survey that is being conducted. Surveys that are used to test participants on their knowledge regarding a certain subject apply to the aforementioned logic as they deal with factual information which can be divided into correct and incorrect spectrums. A classic example for such a survey is educational testing, i.e. university exams which test student knowledge acquisition.
    When it comes to surveys however that are designed for asking participants about their opinions, attitudes or emotions, there can’t be a correct-incorrect-classification. In this case, all answer options are potential keys depending on the survey-taker. A good example for this survey type is an election in which the participant chooses one of several candidates or parties that reflect his or her interests to the best of knowledge.
    What both of these survey types have in common though is the general single choice structure, meaning an initial question followed by at least two or more predefined answer options of which the survey participant may choose only one.

    Use LimeSurvey’s Variety of Single Choice Questions to Guide Your Participants

    Single choice questions are a great way of leading your participants through a survey efficiently from a quality and quantity standpoint. It’s a much faster alternative to free text question types as each question only requires one or two clicks and furthermore, it helps participants manage the complex decision-making process due to the compressed variety of answer options.

    5-Point Choice Questions

    This question type offers a 1 to 5 scale to choose from depending on for example the intensity of an answer to a given question. The 5-point choice is the most basic choice-based question type available in LimeSurvey, but is therefore generally applicable due to its rating structure.
    All core settings such as “relevance equation” (assign value to question and determine whether it’s supposed to be displayed), “random question in group” (randomisation of question order within a group) and more are available for this question type.
    Advanced Tip: instead of using a 1 to 5 scale, modify it by using a slider with emoticons or a star rating.

    5-Point Choice Question Type Example

    5-Point Choice Question Type Example
    Dropdown List Question Type Example

    Radio List Questions

    The radio list questions contain option buttons which are ultimately graphic control elements that allow a user to select one of a predefined number of alternatives. In LimeSurvey, these radio buttons are shaped like circular holes to click on. Radio buttons differ from checkboxes in a manner that checkboxes often allow for more than one selectable option at a time whereas radio buttons are intended for simply one answer choice.
    All core settings such as “relevance equation” (assign value to question and determine whether it’s supposed to be displayed), “hide tip” (hide question tips in case they’re not required), “alphabetical answer sorting” (answer options can be sorted according to the alphabet), “label for ‘Other’ option” (rename the ‘Other’ answer option to anything you like), “random answer options” (contrary to sorting answer options), “random question in group” (randomisation of question order within a group) and many more are available for this question type.
    Advanced Tip: if you have many different predefined answer options you would like to offer to your participants, simply extend your radio list to more than one column (max. eight) to vertically shorten the list of answer options and make it more readable for survey-takers.

    Radio List Question Type Example

    Radio List Question Type Example

    List with Comment Questions

    This question type is almost identical to the radio list question type. However, it adds the possibility of providing a free comment next to the selection of answer options. This is a great possibility for participants to elaborate on the choice of answer or to comment on the question as well as provide any sort of statement. Other than that, it offers all the benefits of the “radio list questions”.
    All core settings such as “relevance equation” (assign value to question and determine whether it’s supposed to be displayed), “hide tip” (hide question tips in case they’re not required), “alphabetical answer sorting” (answer options can be sorted according to the alphabet), “random answer options” (contrary to sorting answer options), “random question in group” (randomisation of question order within a group) and many more are available for this question type.

    List with Comment Question Type Example

    List with Comment Question Type Example

    Build on the Advantages and Bear in Mind the Disadvantages of Multiple/Single Choice Question Types

    Leverage the Advantages

    Multiple/Single choice questions can deliver great results and turn out to be very effective evaluation tools if the predefined items are composed in a standardised way. Therefore, the beauty of this question type is that it can deliver quality insights on the one hand and simultaneously be used for large quantities of participants on the other hand.
    These questions can be set up easily and quickly, whether using pen and paper or on electronic devices.
    Due to its fast score nature, a wide range of content can be covered in a single survey.
    As a result of the aforementioned benefits, participants will be able to complete surveys quicker and more easily, hence be more inclined to fully complete them which in turn means a higher response rate for the survey creators and more reliable statistics.

    Consider the Disadvantages

    Multiple/Single choice questions put a strong limitation on the answer options which may result in no answer at all or an unsatisfactory option selected by a participant. If several of these situations occur within the course of a survey, many participants may supposedly exit without completion. In this case either a single choice question has to provide a way out of this restriction by offering to skip the question (which is highly disadvantageous for the survey creator), the option to select “other”, or a comment box for further elaboration.
    This question type is more suitable for either very well-defined topics or for lower-order tasks which narrows down its usability. When trying to solve problems or apply higher reasoning techniques in a survey, this question type will quickly run into trouble.
    Other typical disadvantages are for example ambiguity of predefined items depending on the survey creator’s interpretation and schematic answering in certain patterns by survey-takers which may lead to falsified results.
    Luckily though, LimeSurvey offers plenty of additional features to eliminate any disadvantages and create a fine mix of different question types.

    Enjoy the Benefits of LimeSurvey Single Choice Question Types

    LimeSurvey offers all features to paid subscriptions as well as free users. Single choice questions, being one of many different available question types, are no exception here and can help you get started with the LimeSurvey software. Give it a try and set up some basic questions and answers with our single choice questions: you’ll see it’s as easy a pie! Simply click here to get started.
    Furthermore, if you really want to get into advanced survey creation, you won’t be restricted. LimeSurvey and single choice question types in specific can be used in a wide range of different fields, such as educational testing, market research, elections and general scientific research. If you want to learn even more about all of our question types, simply visit our LimeSurvey manual.

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