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Survey Methods for Educators

by Clare Irwin and Erin Stafford

This guide describes a five-step collaborative process that educators can use with other educators, researchers, and content experts to write or adapt questions and develop surveys for education contexts. This process allows educators to leverage the expertise of individuals within and outside of their organization to ensure a high-quality survey instrument that meets the policy or practice goals of the organization. Examples from collaborative survey development projects are highlighted for each step. The five-step collaborative survey development process is: (1) Step 1: Identify topics of interest; (2) Step 2: Identify relevant, existing survey items; (3) Step 3: Draft new survey items and adapt existing survey items; (4) Step 4: Review draft survey items with stakeholders and content experts; and (5) Step 5: Refine the draft survey with pretesting using cognitive interviewing. This guide is the first in a three-part series of survey method guides for educators. This guide covers survey development. The second guide in the series covers sample selection and survey administration, and the third guide in the series covers data analysis and reporting. The following are appended: (1) Additional survey development resources; (2) Sample table of specifications: Excerpt from the Early Childhood Education Research Alliance collaborative survey development project; (3) Sample analysis plan: Excerpt from the Northeast Rural Districts Research Alliance collaborative survey development project; (4) Sample feedback form: Excerpt from the Early Childhood Education Research Alliance collaborative survey development project; (5) Sample cognitive interview protocol from the Northeast Rural Districts Research Alliance collaborative survey development project; and (6) Sample cognitive interview analysis codebook from the Northeast Rural Districts Research Alliance collaborative survey development project. [For "Survey Methods for Educators: Selecting Samples and Administering Surveys (Part 2 of 3). REL 2016-160," see ED567752. For "Survey Methods for Educators: Analysis and Reporting of Survey Data (Part 3 of 3). REL 2016-164," see ED567753.]


Publication Information

Northeast & Islands | Publication Type: Descriptive Study | Publication
Date: August 2016

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