This in-person workshop outlines the basics of conducting surveys for program evaluation, including how to write survey items using typical question, distribute questionnaires to maximize response rate, and learn strategies for avoiding and exploring response bias in survey data.
Site URL: https://nnlm.gov/classes/questionnaires
Participants will be able to (a) determine when surveys are an effective method for program evaluation (b) structure questionnaire items to avoid common item-writing errors (c) use online sample-size calculators to determine optimal sample sizes (d) follow effective practices of survey distribution to maximize response rates (e) identify response bias is survey data
• Introduction to topic (30 minutes: Lecture and instructor/participant introductions)
• Planning a questionnaire: Presentation on planning a questionnaire for use in program evaluation, followed by a small-group exercise during which participants develop evaluation questions and determine whether a survey is the best approach to answering questions (60 minutes; lectures and individual exercise followed by group sharing)
• Item-writing: This section starts with an exercise in which participants work independently to identify problematic questionnaire items. A presentation follows about typical item formats and avoiding common errors when writing survey items. The section concludes with large-group discussion about the exercise started at the beginning of this section. (75 minutes: Individual exercise, large group discussion, short lecture. A 15-minute break is incorporated into this section.)
• Presentation on sample size calculators: Participants learn when and how to use online sample size calculators to determine sample size for a survey. They also will learn about various sampling methods used in surveys. (30 minutes, demonstration and lecture)
• Presentation on response rate and survey distribution: Participants learn the importance of maximizing response rate and the methods that have been shown to improve response rates. They also learn how to explore response bias in their survey data. Brief discussion of various technologies, such as mobile device software or online polls, will be included. (45 minutes; lecture)
• Participants ask questions and complete evaluation forms. (15 minutes)
The workshop requires a computer, data projector and screen for projecting Powerpoint slides. It is best held with a classroom-style set-up with chairs that can be arranged for both lecture and small group discussion. It should NOT be scheduled in a computer lab.
MLA CE Credits: 4