Welcome back to beta readers!
I’ve talked a lot about questionnaires this week, so I want to give you some samples and examples of questionnaires I’m using in my study.
I started with a demographic questionnaire.
Male / Female
Age: 10s 20s 30s 40s 50s 60s 70s 80s 90s
What is your current family status (single, married, kids, etc)?
How would you define “Christianity”?
Do you consider yourself a Christian?
If so, how long have you been a Christian?
Were you raised in the church?
Describe your faith.
How often do you attend church?
Do you serve at your church?
Do you support your local church financially?
Do you tithe (give 10% of your income) to your local church?
How often do you read your Bible?
How well do you know the Bible?
Are you completing this study alone or with someone else?
How many studies have you completed prior to this study?
What do you hope to gain from this study?
What is your favorite element of Bible studies?
What is your least favorite element of Bible studies?
Do you prefer to study the Bible alone or with others?
I am a HUGE fan of open-ended questions because of the massive volume of information I can get from them. Sure it’s easier to code multiple choice questions, but there is no way that I could get the richness of information from a few check boxes.
When I go through, I will do my own kind of coding by pulling out major themes from answers and then compiling those themes to generate my numerical data sets (yes, I have a research background, but I doubt I’ll be doing any kind of statistical analyses on these…then again, I just might!).
What I’m looking for here is a sense of WHO is completing my study and where they fall on the Christian spectrum.
Then, I have this questionnaire at the end of every chapter:
- What are your thoughts and reactions to this chapter?
- Did it connect with you as a man / woman (please indicate which you are)? Why?
- Did any question in particular stand out to you as particularly good? Why?
- Was any question in particular a flop? Why?
- Was there a particular Scripture you’d hoped to see and didn’t?
- Was there any excess that you would like to see trimmed from the chapter?
- Is there any spot you felt was too thin and could use more?
- Did you find this chapter to be useful in your growth as a Christian? Why or why not?
- If you could add a question, what would it be?
- If you could add a Scripture to this discussion, what would it be?
- Did you find any theological issues in the chapter? What was it?
- What are your thoughts about the action step? Did you take it? Why?
- On a scale of 1-10 (1 worst, 10 best), how would you rate this chapter? Why?
- On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate study so far? Why?
- On a scale of 1-10, how likely would you be to recommend this study to someone? Why?
- Did you work on this as an individual or with someone else? If individual, how did it work as an individual study? If a group, how did it work as a group study (fruitful discussions, ability to work at a similar pace, etc)?
- About how long did it take you to work through the chapter?
- Any other thoughts or comments you have that I didn’t address?
Again, lots of open-ended questions. This is the meat of information I’m getting. I want to see how they feel about different elements of the chapter, if it was strong or weak, if I had any holes, if I had too much in one area and not enough in another, etc.
Receiving this kind of feedback is emotionally really hard, I’m not going to lie. I definitely have my moments of wanting to throw the manuscript in the garbage when getting tough feedback, but I don’t. I know I just need to take a few days, let my emotions process out, search for the validity of the suggestions, and then move on and improve.
I will extract major themes from these answers as well in order to do some kind of coding and compilation of data. Again, I don’t know exactly what this process will look like, but when I get there, you bet I’ll be on here sharing it!
Lastly, I had a final questionnaire.
- What are your thoughts and reactions to the study overall?
- What did you think about the format of the study (amount of reading, type of questions, etc)?
- Which chapter was the most helpful to you? Why?
- Which chapter was the least helpful to you? Why?
- Which chapter was written the best? Why?
- Which chapter was written the worst? Why?
- Did you feel the chapters flowed logically from one to the next? If not, where did you find the disconnect?
- Did you find yourself surprised (not in a good way) by the flow anywhere, as in you felt it came way out of left field?
- Did you find yourself engaged throughout? If not, where did you struggle to engage?
- Did you feel the study overall spoke to you as a man / woman (please indicate which you are)? Why or why not?
- Do you feel the removal of some content would improve the study? Which content?
- Do you feel the addition of content would improve the study? What would you add?
- Did you find the theology to be sound throughout? If not, what issues did you encounter?
- Did this study help you grow spiritually? Are you satisfied with the amount of growth you achieved? Why?
- Of the action steps you took, which did you find particularly helpful?
- Of the action steps you took, which did you find particularly unhelpful?
- On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate the study overall? Why?
- On a scale of 1-10, would you recommend this study to someone else? Why?
- Did you work this study individually or with someone?
- Did you find it worked in that particular format? Why?
- If you worked with someone else, describe the general tenor of your discussions. Did working with someone else help you understand the material better? Why?
- In which format would you recommend this study (individual or group)? Why?
- If it was up to you, what would you name this study?
- Final thoughts and comments:
I want to give my readers the opportunity to reflect on the study overall and give an overall impression. As hard as it is to receive such feedback, I know it’s so important to get it. I am committed to providing the best material, the best content possible and in order to do that, I need to know where it’s weak, I need to know where it’s strong, and I need to know where it’s mediocre.
This is the main reason to have beta readers. Only those outside, objective opinions can help the study improve in the way it needs to.
What do you think of this kind of method? Have you used it before? What did you feel its strengths and weaknesses were?