ERIC Number: ED032056
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1969-Jul
Reference Count: N/A
They Answered Twice.
Orange Coast Junior Coll. District, Costa Mesa, CA.
A 9-item questionnaire was given to registering students for fall and spring 1969. For easier handling, its form was changed for the next semester. By accident, the two versions were handed out and 687 students answered both in quick succession. The staff decided to compare the two forms to see if the answers differed. Two questions were considered unsuitable for comparison. For the other seven, the frequency of differing replies ranged from 16 to 66%. Three possible explanations were offered: (1) students do not take such questionnaires seriously, (2) they are unable to answer reliably, (3) angry at answering the same questions twice, they deliberately mis-answered the second time. If the first or second is right, such data gathering is a waste of time. If the third is right, the amount of data gathering should be reduced, assuming that the more questions a student must answer, the less reliable the replies. Point 3 will be re-examined in the fall 1969 semester, when both versions of the questionnaire will be given out at an interval of a few weeks. It is expected that, with the lapse of time, the student will feel no anger and may even forget he answered before. If marked differences in replies still show up, the matter should be pursued. While the format of a questionnaire does affect the way it is answered and may explain the differences found in this case, the value of the instruments is doubtful--for there is no way of knowing which format, if either, elicited reliable data. (HH)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Orange Coast Junior Coll. District, Costa Mesa, CA.
Identifiers - Location: California