Formulating Your Questionnaires
A dissertation is undoubtedly one of the most demanding students any student has to write while in college. First and foremost, it is quite a lengthy paper with plenty of content to write. On the other hand, there is much more to research before you start the writing process. As such, it demands quite a lot in terms of time and effort.
Students face various challenges when working on their dissertations. A research methodology is amongst the most prevalent ones. The student has to identify and justify the tools and techniques they will use for their research. However, the scientific method has provided plenty of resources to work with. Whereby questionnaires are a standard tool used to collect data at this stage.
Questionnaires are quite useful across various research types. They help the researcher to apply them in both a small and a large scale. Furthermore, formulating questionnaires is typically a straightforward process. When a researcher has their objectives cut out clearly, creating questionnaires becomes quite rapid and inexpensive.
On some occasions, the survey can be mailed to the respondents. In most cases, however, the researcher distributes the questionnaires by hand. Hence, this presents an opportunity to conduct a semi-informal interview with the respondents. It then becomes apparent why most researchers might prefer to use questionnaires for their dissertation.
In this technologically advanced age, online surveys are also coming up as a practical tool. Whereby the researcher shares the questionnaires with an online audience. Nevertheless, this method is yet to take firm roots. It explains the low numbers of online respondents that researchers have to contend with.
What Makes a Solid Questionnaire
Despite the apparent challenges to questionnaires, the crux of the matter lies in justifying the significance of the data collected. Therefore, this shifts the focus from the quantity of the respondents to the quality of the information obtained. It is essential to include such limitations in your dissertation. Furthermore, you must show how you mitigated the cons or addressed the challenges you faced.
The technical aspects of questionnaires aside, an effective survey should capture the following elements.
- The criterion for identifying respondents of the questionnaires.
- The sample group as a representation of the target population.
- The expected rate of response.
- The relevance of the questions in relation to the topic of the dissertation.
- The likelihood of genuine answers from the respondents.
- The viability of a retest.
It is worth considering that these elements have only been highlighted. Creating a reliable questionnaire will require you to read much deeper into the subject. It will also guide you on how to formulate the relevant questions to your topic. As far as questionnaires go, you can only refine the methodology through practical guidance.
By reading more into the subject, you might also equip yourself with an alternative or complementary methods to questionnaires. This might not only make your research significantly less challenging but also creates the foundation of a comprehensive dissertation. Similarly, you might even get to learn a thing or two about analyzing the data.