Open-Ended Questions

Open-Ended questions contain a text box in which respondents can formulate their own answers. Open-ended questions can help you see things from a respondent's perspective, as they give you feedback in their own words. This question type is mostly used to get raw and uninfluenced opinions and information. It can not be answered with a simple "yes", "no", or any one-word answer.


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We'll discuss the following points in this guide:

  1. Add an Open-Ended Question  
  2. Change the general question settings
  3. Edit the question
  4. Examples of Open-Ended question
  5. Advantages and Disadvantages
  6. Tips & Ideas

1 Add an Open-Ended question

Under the Questions tab, click the button ? Questions. Select Open-Ended from the list of question types. Click +.


Add open-ended question


You have now added an Open-Ended question to your survey. You'll be able to change the general question settings and edit the question.


Open ended question settings


2 Change the general question settings

Open ended question - change general settings

  1. The question settings can be hidden/shown.
  2. The question order can be changed.
  3. The question type can be modified as well.
  4. The question can be active/inactive. With this, you chose to make the question available or not available on the questionnaire.
  5. Lock/unlock the question to be edited by other team members.
  6. To Copy, Delete, or Preview that particular question.



3 Edit The question

Edit open ended question text

  1. Add your question here. Use the rich text editor icons to make your text bigger, add emojis, videos, change the alignment, and more...
  2. Click Add media or Add YouTube video to upload images or videos to make your questionnaire more entertaining. The file needs to be under 2MB. To add a YouTube video, paste a YouTube link after clicking the Add YouTube video button. See the example below to check how this looks.
  3. Make the question mandatory - toggle the button to require respondents to answer the question before moving to the next question.
  4. Add a question tag - turn this feature to add a tag to your question that you can reference in your survey or PDF.

Tip:  The respondent can enter 5000 characters in the Open-Ended text box. When the limit is almost reached, a character countdown appears, indicating how many characters the respondent has left, as shown below.


Open question number of characters remaining

4 Examples of an Open-Ended Question

• What’s your reason for reading this blog post?


Describe your last visit?


• Why have you responded to this listing?


What do you think about the two candidates in this election?


What’s the biggest benefit you feel you have gained from attending this workshop?


Please describe the impact that you feel the last 6 months’ classes have had on your life.


Open-ended question example


example of open ended question


Aside from typical open-ended question wordings, here are some other ways of using the open-ended question type:

  • You could ask respondents to complete a sentence, for example, “An effective supervisor….” or “The main things that bother me about the company’s policies are…”
  • It may be helpful to respondents to provide some sort of support so that they know what type of answer they are being requested to provide. For example, your question could be worded, “What were the strengths and weaknesses of the marketing course?” rather than simply asking “What did you think of the marketing course?” which would leave things vaguer for the respondent and could result in an unfocused and rambling answer.


5 Advantages and Disadvantages

Open-ended questions have both benefits and drawbacks. We have listed the main advantages and disadvantages of them;


Advantages of open-ended questions:

+ Allow an infinite number of possible answers

+ Give you qualitative data

+ Collect more detail

+ Understand how your respondent thinks

Ask without knowing the answer (unlike closed-ended questions, where all possible options are given)

+ Gives you opinions and feelings, adding value to the answer

Help the respondent feel more engaged


Disadvantages of open-ended questions:

 Will give you opinions and feelings, thus making some answers subjective

 They take longer to complete, increasing survey fatigue and may result in a lower completion rate

– Limited amount of questions you can ask

– Respondents may be unsure about what sort of response is expected from them

– Difficult to make comparisons between answers received

– Analysis of answers is more time-consuming than numerical data


6 Tips & Ideas

  • Ensure to review your entire questionnaire and ensure that the number of open and closed-ended questions is balanced. Including too many open-ended questions can be off-putting to the respondent as they are time-consuming to complete. However, because they can yield so much valuable insight, it can be a question type you won't want to skip!
  • Use open-ended questions at the end of surveys. If respondents have had enough with answering previous questions and drop out, there is enough data captured to analyze the response. But if your open-ended question is an essential part of your data gathering, you may want to consider giving it a prime position towards the beginning.
  • You could ask respondents to complete a sentence, for example, “An effective supervisor….” or “The main things that bother me about the company’s policies are…”
  • It may help respondents provide enough information so that they know what type of answer you are looking for. For example, your question could be, “What were the strengths and weaknesses of the marketing course?” rather than merely asking “What did you think of the marketing course?” which would leave things vaguer for the respondent and could result in an unfocused and rambling answer.


Log in here and add your open-ended question!

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