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Questionnaire design

Dave Middleton Wednesday 24 March, 11.45am-12.45pm, Workshop 5B, CMR15

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14 March 2010

Dave Middleton

Wednesday 24 March, 11.45am-12.45pm
Workshop 5B
Central Meeting Room 15

For those planning on using questionnaires as a data collection tool, this interactive workshop will provide guidance on questions to avoid and some common pitfalls faced by those designing questionnaires for the first time.

Dave Middleton is a Senior Lecturer in Social Sciences where he is a Staff Tutor in Wales and a member of POLIS. He is Chair of the Higher Education Academy’s Centre for Sociology Anthropology and Politics (C-SAP) Advisory Group. Dave has an interest in innovative teaching methods and in July 2007 completed a £250,000 HEFCE funded project PARLE, developing a DVD of postgraduate research training materials aimed specifically at politics students. The DVD ‘Doing Political Research’ was launched at the Houses of Parliament and has the support of a number of departments across the UK. Dave was, until December 2008 Research School Academic Coordinator. He contributes to the Doctoral Training Workshop programme and has taught research methods to hundreds of students including sociologists, political scientists, media studies, financial services managers, strategic management accountants at both undergraduate and postgraduate level.  He is currently Chair of the Social Science Masters Foundation modules D822 Investigating the Social World and D821 Investigating the Pyschological World. Dave’s thesis on the political use of the concept respect was awarded by the University of London in 2005. He has recently published a number of articles on the subject of e-learning in universities, the most recent in European Political Science (2010) entitled ‘Putting the learning into e-learning’.

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Dr David Middleton
11:23am 24 March 2010

The session is under way and I've got the room thinking about the use of hypotheses in questionnaire design.

Dr David Middleton
12:19pm 24 March 2010

We're thinking about the research question: How do postrgraduate students experience their methods training?

Dependent variables suggested are:

Attitudes to methods training

Self identification as a researc her

Independent variables:



Previous qualifications

Facilitators teaching style

Frequency of attendance

Institutional support

From these variables we have chosen the following hypothesis to operationalise.

How are attitudes affected by the facilitators teaching style

  The session ran into a bit of a blind alley when we started to think of questions we might ask. What this illustrates very clearly, I think, is that questionnaire design is a lot more difficult than most people imagine.

I wonder what the participants thought? Over to you....




Rebecca Ferguson
2:17pm 24 March 2010

Here’s an example of a similar study that was carried out using questionnaires

The Journal of Psychology: Interdisciplinary and Applied
Issue:              Volume 138, Number 3 / May 2004
Pages:              233 - 252
'Thinking Styles: University Students' Preferred Teaching Styles and Their Conceptions of Effective Teachers' by Li-Fang Zhang

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