Some really good thoughts here Jenny! I would just add that in the past 4 years I have seen (and completed!) some terrible surveys for EE and EPQ where it was patently obvious what they wanted the answers to be. As a result I ran a session (pretty short as we didn’t have much time – approx 20 mins) on data collection which focused on surveys/questionnaires and interviews. I invited one of our Marketing team over to talk to the pupils who were doing primary data collection and he was able to tell them that it is crucial they think about their questions before they write them. They have to spend time planning their survey design and they can’t ask leading questions or try to manipulate the field because it’s much better to analyse data where there might be anomalies and things you didn’t anticipate.
It was good to have another voice other than mine added to the research morning, especially someone who does surveys as part of his job. It would be worth looking out examples of poor surveys (if you have copies of previous years’ EPQs you will most likely come across some!) and maybe anonymise and get your students to evaluate and rate them as surveys? The Study Skills Handbook by Sheila Cottrell was my go-to resource for this – she goes into some depth on questionnaire design – but there are plenty of other resources out there. It’s not rocket science but like anything it requires careful planning – pupils have to think hard about what they want to find out and craft questions which aren’t leading and which will help them to best answer their research question.