2 Research Stages Stage 1: Research aims Stage 2: Literature Stage 3: Research designStage 4: InstrumentationStage 5: PilotingStage 6: Data collectionStage 7: Data cleaning and Data analysisStage 8: Research report
3 What is a questionnaire? A questionnaire is a structured instrument for collecting primary data on populations of interest in applied or theory-based research.A well-designed questionnaire facilitates the respondents to provide complete and accurate information.A questionnaire is a structured instrument for collecting primary data on populations of interest in applied or theory-based research. A questionnaire is an important instrument of research, a tool for data collection. It is a series of predetermined written or verbal questions for which the respondent provides answers. A questionnaire is not some sort of official form, nor is it a set of questions which have been casually jotted down without much thought. Its function is measurement. (Oppenheim, 1992). A well-designed questionnaire facilitates the respondents to provide complete and accurate information.Questionnaires are designed to serve a variety of purposes: aids in screening or selecting employees, students, trainees and recruits; providers of patient information in health-related setting that contribute to diagnostic and treatment decisions; and as survey instruments for obtaining data on populations of interest. (Aiken, 1997)
4 Main types of questionnaires Mail/Online questionnairesStructured interview schedulesThe term 'questionnaire' has been used in different ways. Some practitioners refer to this term as self‑administered and postal/online questionnaires. Others would include interview schedules (administered face‑to-face or by telephone) under the general term of 'questionnaires'. In a different way the word 'questionnaire' is sometimes used to distinguish a set of questions, including perhaps some open‑ended ones, from more rigidly constructed scales or tests. There is, of course, some overlap between these techniques. For example, the problems of item wording or phrasing, and of ordering the questions in a particular sequence, are common to them all. In the present context we shall therefore use the term 'questionnaire' fairly loosely to cover postal questionnaires, group‑ or self‑administered questionnaires and structured interview schedules (including telephone interviews). (Oppenheim, 1992)
5 Methods of administering Interview: face to face or telephone;Mail or other distribution methodComputer-basedThere are three main methods of administering a questionnaire. These can be interview: face to face or telephone; mail or other distribution method, and computer-based form of data collection. Each has advantages and disadvantages, and our final choice will depend on its appropriateness to our purpose and to the means at our disposal. These methods will somewhat impact on the content and format of the questionnaire.
6 Interview/telephone Sampling implication Minimise interviewer effect Time of interview, sample selectionMinimise interviewer effectStandardise interview schedule, scriptedExample:Year_After_9-11.doc
7 Mail or Distribution Sampling implication Not supervised Clarity of questionsComplexity versus simplicityRoom for comments, problems with the questionnaire
8 Online or computer administered Sampling implicationNot supervisedClarity of questionsCan incorporate complex pathways of questionnaire itemsIf answer is yes, go to Q5. If answer is no, go to Q7, etcRoom for comments, problems with the questionnaireMissing responses checked
9 StepsEstablish a table of specifications, panel and revise if necessaryWrite the questionsDetermine the general question content needed to obtain each of the desired informationDetermine the form of response for each of the questionsChoose the exact question wording.Panel and revise the questions if necessaryPrepare the questionnaire layout for printingArrange the questions into an effective sequence.Specify the physical characteristics of the questionnaire (paper type, number of questions per page, etc.)Panel and revise the questions and the whole questionnairePre-testing and Pilot the questionnaire. Analyse and revise the questions and the whole questionnaire if needed
10 Establish a table of specifications StepsIdentify the program objectives for which the questionnaire is being developedOperationalise the objectivesIdentify the population to be addressedIdentify the methods of administrationEstablish the link between research questions, information needed, source of information and methods of data collectionDecide on how to measure each variableEstablish a table of specifications
11 What are the general program objectives or research questions? Identify the program objectives for which the questionnaire is being developedWhat are the general program objectives or research questions?What are the specific research questions?What are hypotheses? (draw a diagram)A first step in constructing questionnaire involves establishing clear objectives of the survey or program for that the questionnaire is used. Some key questions areWhat is the questionnaire trying to find out?What sort of information is it required to elicit?Answers to these questions will help ascertain what is needed in the questionnaire, and what is extraneous to it. This is a ruthlessly selective process: only relevant questions must be included, and the researcher must desist from including questions that do not explicitly promote the realisation of the survey's objectives, irrespective of their intrinsic interest.This process is one of continuous clarification, and involves moving from a general expression of interest to clearly defined and measurable entities. One approach to this is the procedure of operationalism. This approach seeks to remove the ambiguity in concepts by specifying the operations by which they are to be measured.To do any (quantitative) research we must be able to measure the concepts we wish to study. This entails having to specify the meaning of particular concepts precisely and to or to understand the dimensions of the concepts to develop sound measuring procedures which will stand for them.
12 Example PISA Contextual Questionnaire PISA_Questionnaire_TechnicalReport.pdf
13 PISA Research Themes Table 3.1 Examples: Student engagement with mathematicsMathematics self-efficacyMathematics self-conceptMathematics anxietyInterest in and enjoyment of mathematicsInstrumental motivation to learn mathematicsStudy time in mathematics
14 Example Report: Student engagement in schools StudentEngagementOECDWillms.pdf
15 Determine specific information needed List dimensions, variables that you should measureList specific information you hope to collect
16 Establishing the link between information needed, source of information and methods of data collectionInformation needed / variables to be measuredSource of informationMethods of data collectionOnce the terms or concepts or variables are specified, the table that presents a link between information needed, and from whom and whore information can be obtained, and how to obtain this information (structured interview or mail questionnaire…)
17 Identify the population to be addressed Source of informationWho is appropriate to provide the necessary informationCharacteristics of the target population
18 Identify the methods of administration Think in advance how the questionnaire should be administered?
19 How to measure each variable Decide if the variable is directly observable or latentIs the variable measured by one item?Is the variable a composite of a number of items (indicators)?
20 Example: Student engagement in schools (see Willms report) Define student engagement.Student engagement is measured by two components:Sense of belongingParticipationWhat are indicators of Sense of belonging and Participation?
21 How to measure each variable Latent variable (Construct)Is the variable measured through a set of indicators?If yes, what are the possible dimensions and/or indicatorsHow is each indicator measured?Produce a table showing how to measure each indicator
22 Not directly observable Questionnaire designLatent Variables and Indicators12Latent Variable3Indicators45Examples of Latent Variables and Items:Asthma severity: frequency of shortness of breaths;Anorexia nervosa: degree of , from mild dieting to refusal of food.Status of teachers]Proficiency in mathematicsLanguage abilityLatent variables are some defined “notion” that is a continuum from “less” to “more”. That is, we can talk about measurements of such variables.Some variables that are not good examples of latent variables: date of birth. ‘Age’ could be, but usually not latent.6Not directly observableDirectly observable
23 Questionnaire design (Barrett, 2002) Construct development Step 1: Define a meaning for your construct. It will be of narrow focus, capable of sustaining precise measurement.Step 2: Develop appropriate items for this construct.Step 3: Test the hypothesis that the items do indeed imply the meaning of the construct as defined.Step 4: Revise the items(Barrett, 2002)
24 How to develop indicators (items) Draft the first itemsPanel the indicators1. Draft the first itemsMeasures developed and validated in previous research can be used.Unstructured interview, group focus interview or observation may be helpful in developing scale addressing special group2. Panel the indicators:Experts in the field or popple who are familiar or related to the topis can provide good commentsInformants from the group to be surveyed can provide useful clues about the quality of questions
25 Example: How to measure Sense of belonging – draft items A. I feel like an outsider (or left out of things)B. I make friends easilyC. I feel like I belongD. I feel awkward and out of placeE. Other students seem to like meF. I feel lonelyG. I do not want to go to schoolH. I often feel bored.
26 Example: How to measure participation Measured by the frequency of absence, class-skipping and late arrival at school during the two weeks prior to the PISA 2000 survey.
27 Panel and Review the table of specifications for the program/ project Do the variables cover all the information needed for the program?Do the indicators cover all the dimensions of the variable measured?If more than one questionnaire is to be designed, a panel and review of the table of specifications for each questionnaire should be done
28 Data analysis to check the appropriateness of the indicators Example on student engagement in schools: (p64, Willms)A factor analysis of the responses found two factorsone that is based on the first six items and describes whether students feel accepted and included by their classmates,The second is based primarily on the last two items and describes whether students like school and find it interesting.The analysis also revealed that the six belonging items contributed almost equally to the first factor.Therefore, the measure of sense of belonging used in this report is based on a Rasch scaling of the first six items
30 Reliability and Validity High Validity ReliableLow Reliability High Reliability but low validity(A) (B) (C)What are the relationships between reliability and validity?“Reliability and validity are usually complementary concepts, but in some special situations, they conflict with each other. Sometimes as validity increases, reliability is difficult to obtain and vice versa. This occurs when the construct has a highly abstract and not easily observable definition. Thus, there is a strain between the true essence of the highly abstract construct and measuring it in a concrete manner”. (Neuman, 1997)If a scale is reliable will it be valid? Not necessary.If a scale is valid will it be reliable? Yes.
31 ValidityValidity is the ability of an instrument to measure what is designed to measure (Smith, 1991)Validity refers to the extent to which an empirical measure adequately reflects the real meaning of the concept under consideration (Babbie, 1990: 33)It is difficult to establish validity of an attitudinal scale.Who decides that an instrument is measuring what is supposed to measure? The person who has designed the study and experts in the field.How can it be establish that an instrument is measuring what it is supposed to measure? There are two approaches to establish the validity of a research instrument: Logic and statical.Establishing a logical link between the questions and the objectives through justification of each question is both simple and difficult. It is simple in the sense that you may find it easy to see a link your self, and difficult because your justification may lack the backing of experts. Therefore it is necessary to get opinions and comments form experts in the field.
32 Example: Student engagement in schools (p.18, Willms) Participation is measured by the frequency of absence, class-skipping and late arrival at school during the two weeks prior to the PISA 2000 survey.There are two issues concerning the validity of the participation measure.One issue is that the measure of participation could be more extensive. It was measured in this study with a rather narrow focus on student absenteeism.The second issue pertains to how participation is measured. A number of students may have missed school because of illness or for other legitimate reasons.
33 Reliability - 1Reliability is concerned with how much error is included in the evidence.If there is no error in the measurement, the same measurement should be consistent over time and context.The reliability of a measure refers to the consistency of measurement for repeated measurements of the same phenomenon. (Willms, p65)
34 Reliability - 2 Internal consistency reliability DescriptionConcerned with how well the items act together to elicit a consistent type of response. Often referred to as Coefficient aLimitationsRequires statistical procedures to estimate reliability. Does not capture sources of error such as variation over time . Assumes all items tap into one single dimension.UsagesImportant to establish when designing a scale
35 Reliability example Willms, p65. The measures of sense of belonging and participation are highly reliable at the country level: the reliability coefficients are 0.99 for both sense of belonging and participation.
37 Questionnaire design Design the items Issues to be considered for each itemWhat information do I want to get?Is this factual or non-factual?How to ask?What kind of responses do I want to get? /How do I want the respondents to answer my questions (format)How will I code this item?Will I include the coding in the item format?Once a Table of Specification is established, the next step is to write the questions. These are issues to be considered when writing questions.
38 Questionnaire design Measurement Types Nominal Ordinal Interval Nominal type of measurement entails the classification of individuals in terms of a concept or the characteristics being scaled, without there being any implication of gradation or distance between the groups.Ordinal type of variables classifies individuals into groups but the groups can be ordered in terms of more or less of the concept in the question. Ordinal scale ranks individuals along the continuum of the concept being measured but carries no implication of distance between scale positions. The step form position 1 to position 2 may be different or may be the same as from position 2 to position 3…Interval type of scale has equal unit of measurement. There fore it is possible to interpret both the order and the distance between categories or groups. Measuring age or income is an example of this type of measurement.The highest level of measurement is a ratio type of scale which has the properties of an interval scale together with a fix origin or zero point; With a ratio scale we can compare both differences I scores and the relative magnitude of scores;
39 Questionnaire design Question types To facilitate question writing, it is important to know types of questions. There are two ways of classification of questions:Classification by response formatClassification by types of informationFactual. Non-factual (e.g., attitude)To facilitate question writing, it is important to know types of questions. There are two ways of classification of questions:Classification by response formatClassification by types of information
40 Questionnaire design Closed questions Open-ended questions Question types - classification by response formatClosed questionsOpen-ended questionsA closed question is one in which the respondents are offered a choice of alternative replies. They may be asked to tick or underline their chosen answer(s) in a written questionnaire, or the alternatives may be read aloud or shown to them on a prompt card or a slide. Questions of this kind may offer simple alternatives such as Yes and No, or the names of five political parties in an election; or they can offer something more complex, such as a choice of ways of keeping order in a classroom or a choice of motives for smoking cigarettes.Open or free‑response questions are not followed by any kind of choice, and the answers have to be recorded in full. In the case of a written questionnaire, the amount of space or the number of lines provided for the answer will partly determine the length and fullness of the responses we obtain. Inevitably, some of this richness is lost when the answers are classified later, but it is useful to report a few such answers in full in the final report to give the reader some of the flavour of the replies. Statistical tabulations are important and must remain our first aim, but they make dull reading. Oppenheim, A.N (1992) Questionnaire design, interviewing, and attitude measurement: New York .(Page )Both open-ended and close–ended questions may be included on a questionnaire.The rules for writing good test items also apply to the construction of items to be included on questionnaires.To defend your choice of response modes, the followings should be considered:Who are the respondents? Are there any characteristics of the respondents that will inform or influence the choice of response modes? What are frequently used response modes for similar topics. How this inform your choice? Why is it close but not open What are the possible choices? What are the advantages of using the selected over other types Do you use a combination of negative or positive or just one of the two? Why?
41 Open response types Questionnaire design Explain why you left school? Open-ended questionsOpen response typesExplain why you left school?What were your reasons for leaving school?
42 Questionnaire design Open-ended questions - advantages People can express their exact opinions and feelingsDo not limit the range of possible answersPotentially produce responses which draw attentions to an unanticipated situation or outcome when constructing the questionnaireUseful for testing hypotheses about ideas or awareness
43 Difficult and time consuming to analyse Questionnaire designOpen-ended questions - DisadvantagesDifficult and time consuming to answer (require much effort from respondents)Difficult and time consuming to analyse
44 Questionnaire designClosed questionsAlternative answers are provided and respondents are asked to choose from a list of provided answers
46 Is used to verify the presence or absence of some phenomenon Questionnaire designChecklistsIs used to verify the presence or absence of some phenomenon
47 Which of these materials did you use? Questionnaire designChecklistsExampleWhich of these materials did you use?Which of these activities did you engage in?Which of these are the steps of conducting the project?
48 Contains all the relevant options Questionnaire designWhat is a good checklist?Contains all the relevant optionsIt is helpful to provide the option “other” for respondents to fill in at the end of a checklist.
49 Questionnaire design Two-way questions Measure a dichotomous variables Respondents are asked to choose one from two alternatives:Yes/No;Agree/disagree;For/Against;Good/Bad;Like/Dislike;Approve/Disapprove;Two way questions tend to reduce the issues, opinions in very simple terms and force respondents to choose one from two choices
50 Questionnaire designMCQ questionsMCQ is useful when there are several possible responses and you want to ensure that the respondents is aware of all the possibilities.Alternatives in MCQ should be mutually exclusive categories.
51 Questionnaire designRanking ScalesThis format gives you an indication of how a respondent ranks a number of things.It is useful when there are a limited number of things you would like to have ranked.
52 Questions with ratings on a latent scale Questionnaire designScaling questionsQuestions with ratings on a latent scaleThe basic of attitude measurement is that there are underlying dimensions along which individual attitudes can be ranged.That is a person can be assigned a numerical score to indicate his position on a dimension of interest. This will be done through combining the numerical score of all items of a scale interested.
53 More questions can be asked in a given length of time Questionnaire designAdvantages of closed questionsCompared to open questions, this type of questions is quicker and easier to answerMore questions can be asked in a given length of timeCan deal with a large number of respondentsLow costMake group comparison easyAvoid interviewer training
54 Loss of spontaneous responses Questionnaire designDisadvantages of closed questionsLoss of spontaneous responsesMay introduce bias by forcing respondents to choose between given alternativesMay irritate respondentsRelatively difficult to design
55 Non-factual questions (Attitudes, stereotypes, beliefs, awareness) Questionnaire designTypes of questions - Classification by types of informationFactual questionsNon-factual questions (Attitudes, stereotypes, beliefs, awareness)Most questionnaires will employ a combination of questions asking about factual information and questions inquiring respondent attitudes.
56 Relatively easy to design Questionnaire designFactual questionsCan be verifiedSingle variableRelatively easy to design
57 Relatively difficult to design Questionnaire designNon-factual questionsDifficult to verifyLatent variableRelatively difficult to design
58 Questionnaire designIssues to consider when writing the factual questionsDo the respondents have the necessary information to answer the question?–Knowledge, memory.Will the respondents provide the information willingly? – Sensitive issues.
59 Questionnaire design Question Wordings Use Simple Words “the catalogue system is too difficult for most readers to master “vs“I can never find the books I want” (more direct, more appealing)Avoid acronyms, abbreviations, jargon and technical termsAvoid ambiguous words or the words with many meaningsHave you ever assessed your colleagues’ teaching?Avoid leading questionsYou haven’t skipped any lessons in this semester, have you?
60 Avoid double-barrelled questions Questionnaire designQuestion wordingsAvoid double-barrelled questionsDo you buy weekly and monthly magazines / newspapers?Avoid implicit assumptionsWhen did you last borrow a video tape?Did your sibling’s decision to leave school influence your decision to leave school?Don’t overtax the respondents’ memory.
61 Avoid proverbs or well-known sayings Questionnaire designQuestion WordingsAvoid proverbs or well-known sayingsAvoid loaded words (heavily value laden terms)Do you think union bosses should be allowed so much power?Attitude statements are good if the respondents recognise the statements which force them to think
62 Questionnaire design Selection of types of questions The number of respondentsThe amount and types of information neededThe characteristics of respondents (knowledge, age, culture, religions)The amount of time you have to process and interpret the dataYour knowledge of the issues (the extent to which you can anticipate the range of possible answers).Your methods of data analysis
63 Preparing questionnaire layout Panelling, pre-testing and piloting
64 Allocating sufficient space for answers Questionnaire designSpacingAllocating sufficient space for answersSpace requirements should be considered for :Open-ended questionsScaling questionsCodingThe amount of space you allocate to open-ended questions is important because it will determine both the length and the quality of the response. Only piloting the questionnaire will indicate the best space requirement.In setting out questions that contain scales or indexes ensure that each is easily related to its corresponding question or statement.
66 Questionnaire design General Instruction Reason(s) for the questionnaireA statement about anonymityThe sample design - to indicate how the respondent was chosenHow to return the questionnaire - if it is mailedA contact personWhat will happen to the resultsThanks
67 Questionnaire design Question instructions How to answer the questions Make sure that the instructions and the questions correspond
68 Questionnaire design Order of the questions Very important There is no correct order
69 Questionnaire design Suggestions Begin with easy and non-threatening questionsDo not begin with open-ended questionsArrange questions from general to specificGroup questions into sections or topicsUse filter questions to ensure that the respondents are answering relevant questionsAttitude statements are suggested to be arranged in more or less random orderKeep the questionnaire as short as possible
70 Consistency of questionnaire layout Questionnaire designConsistency of questionnaire layoutTry to use similar format for questionsDistinguish different instruction levelsA very important feature of questionnaire layout is consistency. Use similar formats for questions. Do not change the formats from section to section or question to question. If you begin using numbers which must be circled for close-ended questions, do not suddenly change to boxes which must be tickled. It may cause confusion.Similarly, make sure you distinguish different instruction levels with similar font, point, size…
71 Questionnaire design Panelling and Reviewing Relevance of questions to the topic (check against the table of specification)Wording (Instructions, questions)LayoutSpacingInstructionsOrderConsistency
72 Questionnaire design Pre-testing Test questionnaire Do the respondents understand the questions?Are there any difficulties?Are there any sensitive questions?Is the question order appropriateDoes the researcher understand the respondent's response
73 Questionnaire design Who will be involved in Pre-testing Very small sample of the population targeted
74 Questionnaire design How to conduct Pre-testing Step 1: Brief the respondents about the questionnaireStep 2: Researchers record the respondents’ process of completing the questionnaire:through observation, video recording or audio recording to find out signs of difficulties or distractions and timing
75 Questionnaire design How to conduct Pre-testing Step 3: Debrief the respondents about the questions in the questionnaireAny difficulties? Why?What are the easy questions? Why?Any suggestions for improvement?Step 4: Revise the questions if needed
76 Questionnaire design Pilot Test the whole process Questionnaire Methods of administration and collecting the questionnairesResponse rate/missing dataItem analysisData analysis
77 Questionnaire design Analysis Look at frequency of options in each questionToo many “uncertain”, “don’t know” responses, too many skipped or omitted items are bad signs in a pilot study.Reliability of scale constructedDecision of removing or replacing items of scales (for measuring latent variables)
78 Questionnaire designRevise and prepare the final version