To increase participant engagement with questionnaires, they can be administered through interactive means rather than on a piece of paper or through a computer. Interactive options have the potential to be more engaging for participants by increasing their kinesthetic involvement and feeling less like tests (Dodson & Paleo, 2011).
Consider the following examples:
Respond by Moving
If your questions involve distinct choices (e.g., strongly agree, agree, disagree, strongly disagree), you can have signs up in a room that correspond to each answer choice, read the question aloud and ask people to move in the room to the answer that they would like to endorse. You would then record the number of people in the room who endorse each response option and move on to the next question. This method does present a bit more social desirability bias since people are responding in front of their peers; however, this is not inherently problematic. Since we often make decisions or take action while surrounded by our peers, this method can actually mimic the real world in ways that completing the questionnaire in private does not. Keep in mind also that this method might present difficulties for people with limited mobility and also requires a room with space for people to move around (see NSVRC, 2015).
You can also change the way participants respond to items on questionnaires by having them use stickers, dots, sticky notes, etc. to indicate their responses (Dodson & Paleo 2011). This can be done in a manner similar to the respond by moving option outlined above where participants publically endorse an option by posting a sticky note on an answer. For example, you can have flipcharts up in the room that indicate response options. Participants are then given a dot and asked to place the dot on the flipchart that represents their answer. Or you can give people sticky notes on which they can write a few sentences explaining why they are responding the way they are and then stick that note on the appropriate flipchart. This will give you qualitative data for additional context. Alternatively, you can also give participants stickers to use to endorse answers on their own pieces of paper. This can be as simple as creating a grid of response options and asking them to put dots in the corresponding box to indicate their response to various options.
Adhesive Formats: Using Dots, Stickers, and Labels for Data Collection (Online Presentation) Presentation by Lyn
Paleo to the American Evaluation Association Annual Meeting, November 4, 2012, Minneapolis.
Human Spectrogram (Free online course (15 minutes), requires login) This interactive learning tool from the NSVRC walks participants through how to implement an activity-based evaluation through the use of the human spectrogram. Information covered includes an overview of the human spectrogram, a preparation checklist, and additional resources from the NSVRC Evaluation Toolkit.
Dodson, D. & Paleo, L. (2011, October 31). Denece Dodson and Lyn Paleo on “Adhesive Formats” as an alternative to evaluation post-tests [Blog post]. Retrieved from the American Evaluation Association: http://aea365.org/blog/denece-dodson-and-lyn-paleo-on-“adhesive-formats”-as-an-alternative-to-evaluation-post-tests/
National Sexual Violence Resource Center. (2015, August 12). Program Evaluation & Best Practices Forum. xChange Forum.