ERIC Number: EJ846591
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Reference Count: 11
Getting Good Results from Survey Research: Part IV
McNamara, James F.
International Journal of Educational Reform, v14 n2 p250-265 Spr 2005
This article is the fourth contribution to a research methods series dedicated to getting "good results" from survey research. The intent of this article is to elaborate the selection and design decisions one must address when considering the use of a telephone survey as an alternative to the traditional postal survey that collects respondent data using a self-administered (written) questionnaire. This intent was accomplished by organizing the article into four sections. Each section provided a response to one of the four questions posed in the introduction. The response given in the first section provided several reasons why excellent postal questionnaires do not automatically make very good telephone questionnaires. The response in the second section elaborated several "generic" advantages and disadvantages associated with the use of telephone surveys. The response in the third section indicated that anyone wishing to construct a telephone interview questionnaire will be challenged to solve several special questionnaire design problems. The third response concluded by noting that current survey research literature has not only made available an extensive list of well-defined special problems encountered in constructing telephone interview questionnaires but also has published established procedures one can use to either eliminate or significantly reduce the undesirable consequences associated with each of these well-defined special problems. To extend the discussion of alternatives to the traditional postal questionnaire, the response given in the final section provided a brief description of four contemporary survey methods. These four descriptions illustrated how using the Internet or touch-tone telephone can preserve the ability to conduct self-administered surveys, and at the same time, dramatically reduce the time required for survey implementation, as well as totally eliminate the need for telephone interviewers, who are required in traditional telephone surveys.
Descriptors: Research Methodology, Telephone Surveys, Questionnaires, Telecommunications, Research Design, Test Construction, Interviews, Internet, Computer Assisted Testing, Mail Surveys, Cost Effectiveness
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