Question:

What is the difference between open ended and closed ended survey questions?

Open-ended Versus Closed-ended Survey Questions

By Miranda B

A survey consists of two types of questions: open-ended and closed-ended. Utilize the different types of questioning for individual portions of your survey to get the best possible response and feedback.

Open-ended questions allow the responder to answer with a more personalized answer. When creating a survey, using this type of questioning allows the surveyor to identify future questions or topics for additional surveys. When answered, open-ended questions offer a more personalized response and the opportunity for the respondent to add comments unasked in the survey itself.
Types of open-ended questions include:
How do you feel about a product/issue?
What is your thoughts about XYZ?
Do you have any suggestions for management/staff?
A concern with open-ended questions is with the increased amount of time the respondent will be expected to take to answer these questions, which often times means the respondent will skip these questions and leave them blank.

Closed-ended questions are those that can be answered with a set answer, such as true/false, yes/no, birth date, gender, or occupation. Closed-ended questions range from circling a response to filling in a single blank. These questions provide you with a definite answer, and they are more likely to be answered since they require very little effort. However, this type of questioning limits the answer choices and provides no more feedback than the basic answer.

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