Designing Dissertation Questionnaires

Designing Dissertation Questionnaires-38
When you go up to someone and tell them that you are doing your Ph D dissertation, a whole bucket load of advice is what you will be showered with, including admonitions to pay close attention to the introduction, or the literature review or the methodology and the recommendations that you put in.

It’s important to test your survey questionnaire before using it to collect data.

Pretesting and piloting can help you identify questions that don’t make sense to participants, or problems with the questionnaire that might lead to biased answers.

If you can’t get people from your exact target group then find people who are as close as possible.

I once designed a survey that was going to be completed by garment factory workers in another province.

For large or complex surveys it’s a good idea to do a full pilot before starting actual data collection.

To do a pilot you need to test all the survey steps from start to finish with a reasonably large sample.

Enter the completed surveys into the database that you plan to use and then test the analysis that you plan to perform.

Assuming that the survey was pretested, piloting will normally identify practical problems with implementation, rather than problems with the survey design.

So even with this small number of people you should be able to identify most of the major issues.

Adding more people might identify some additional smaller issues, but it also makes pretesting more time consuming and costly.

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