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The Research Process: Designing and Critiquing Questionnaires - Assignment Example

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SXU4002 Assignment 3 Designing and critiquing questionnaires Questionnaires are useful tools when one wishes to gather data from a comparatively large number of individuals (Bowling, 2002), and when the subject matter in question is simple and pertinent to the respondent (McBurney & White, 2009; Oppenheim, 1992)…
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The Research Process: Designing and Critiquing Questionnaires
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Download file to see previous pages Questionnaires typically consist of a number of simple questions (Sheatsley, 1983), each of which attempts to draw on the individual’s opinion or attitude on a single element (McBurney & White, 2009). Since these tools are typically used with a large sample of respondents (Kerlinger, 1986); the responses are often designed such that they may be numerically coded to aid comparison and statistical analysis (Bowling, 2002). Student evaluation of teaching modules is a practice that helps in refining the teaching material and teaching process and in identifying the concerns associated with student learning (CSEE, 2003). Since students are the recipients of the teaching process, it is important to understand whether the techniques used are working effectively, and whether students are having difficulty with any particular area (Greenberg, 2000). This is as important in undergraduate courses as in graduate courses, as ensuring strong learning outcomes at the undergraduate level will provide students with the interest and motivation to apply to and continue with graduate courses. The present questionnaire (in appendix) was designed to identify whether a particular module was effective in reaching its established goals from the perspective of the undergraduate student taking the course (CSEE, 2003). The questionnaire is designed to verify if the over-all goals of the module are reached; as against particular learning objectives that are subject specific. It attempts to ascertain the overall student experience with the module and its component parts. Since the questions used are generic, the questionnaire may be used across modules and with a few amendments (as required) across subjects. The questionnaire opened with some basic questions that identified the student and the course in order to ensure that the responses in the questionnaire were legitimate and useful (McBurney & White, 2009). The students were also asked to mark the percentage on attendance for the module; as this would indicate if the responses of the student were based on the entire module or on only a small part. Irregular students would be more likely to find the module difficult or to have a negative opinion about the way the module was conducted (Reid, 2002). On the other hand, a student may have missed a significant part of the module due to illness or other extenuating circumstances. It is important to remember that such students need to be given special consideration, and their data would be treated differently from the data of students who did not attend out of choice (Oppenheim, 1992). Thus, students with less than 75% attendance were asked to note down any particular reason for absence. The questions chosen were largely scaled multiple choice, objective questions (Kerlinger, 1986; Sheatsley, 1983). Objective questions make it possible to compare data across the responses of the same person (McBurney & White, 2009); as well as to compare responses across different individuals (Kerlinger, 1986). The responses to scaled questions may be combined to find a total or aggregate score (Martin, 2006; Sheatsley, 1983), and the data may be used for any statistical analysis deemed necessary (Anderson, Basilevsky, and Hum, 1983). In the case of Student Evaluations, the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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