Writing Effective Likert Scale Questions
A Likert scale is a type of question where respondents are asked to rate the level at
which they agree or disagree with a statement. For instance on a scale from one to
five a user can strongly disagree or strongly agree with a statement. The scale is
named for the professor who invented the concept. ( A college professor recently
corrected my pronunciation..it is correctly pronounced (LICK ert)
I have had many questions about how to write Likert Questions, and how to write
them effectively, so I reached out to a college professor who had posted some
excellent information on creating effective Likert Scale questions, and he kindly gave
me permission to share and repost the information below.
These kinds of questions are used often not only in Higher Education but in Business
and Government training and even Focus group polling and Customer satisfaction
Almost anyone who had attended a workshop or seminar has been asked “Likert
These kinds of question also lend themselves to be used with an ARS (Audience
Response System”. Many people refer to such a system as “clickers”. We are now
seeing the ability to ask such questions being added, via an “app” to smart phones
and tablets. And while you can build Powerpoints with such questions included for
verbal replies , an audience response system will allow you to see responses and
The company I represent, Dukane, offers an ARS/SRS (when used with students is
called as “Student Response System.
The Dukane “clickers “ are called Convey:
The Convey Clickers were well-designed , with dedicated buttons for MC, dedicated
buttons for True false, and also separate buttons for entering a number.
Partcipants also get ‘Instant’ but also private feedback as to whether they got the
They come packaged in sets of 24 or 32 ( but larger sets can be used)
You can see a brief Powerpoint about Convey Response pads here:
The presentation above is something of a “K-12 Centric” version of how Convey
response pads can be used, but you can find more information including info on how
they are used in Business and Government for training, and how smart phones and
tablets can be incorporated here:
As with anything in training or education, the effectiveness of a session is going to
depend on the quality of the questions ASKED.
Here are some verbs that will assist in writing good Likert Scale Questions. The
verbs in RED are the ones most commonly used in each category.
Using response pads in this way is also part a “Green “ solution. We have all
been in sessions where we have been asked to evaluate the speaker or the
Typically attendees are given a “bubble sheet” and that takes time to create and
paper to print.
Using response pads for this chore means you don't have to print out sheets
and can use the same presentation, once created, over and over.
Also, since the software that is part of Covey will “tally the scores” you can
have immediate feedback, without the tedious chore of totaling responses, and
have them in a form you can share with the participants, or “the powers that
be” who want that information.
If you factor in the paper saved, time saved, and the ability to share the results
the ROI ( return on investment) in this kind of response system is clear.
The original charts with the LIkert Scale verbs listed above can be found at :
These charts were produced by :
Del Siegle, Ph.D.
Neag School of Education - University of
I received Dr Siegle’s express permission to use his charts in this file.
Another aspect of an ARS is the ability to add Graphics to illustrate questions.
Thus it is possible to put “emoticons” beside each question, if that is of interest
I have found some of these kinds of graphics on a site for royalty free graphics. Here
are some examples:
These graphics could be used to represent Agree and Disagree
These were found at http://www.clipproject.info/
I hope this info will be useful in writing successful Likert Scale Questions.
By the way, Dukane offers the option of a free on line demonstration of Convey
Use this link to request a demonstration :
This no-cost, no-obligation demo is given over the web. All you need is 30 minutes
and a good connection to the internet along with a phone, tablet or other device to
use as a virtual responder, if you want to see how that works. A Dukane Convey
Expert will answer your questions and show you the software in action.
Authorized Dukane Consultant
You can find information on all of Dukane products here
Here is a link to the main Dukane website