Major variables (independent, dependent, and moderator variables) are identified and defined in this step.In Step 3, the focus is on writing statements/questions, selection of appropriate scales of measurement, questionnaire layout, format, question ordering, font size, front and back cover, and proposed data analysis.Validity is the amount of systematic or built-in error in measurement (Norland, 1990).
Systematic development of questionnaires is a must to reduce many measurement errors.
Following these five steps in questionnaire development and testing will enhance data quality and utilization of research.
Scales are devices used to quantify a subject's response on a particular variable.
Understanding the relationship between the level of measurement and the appropriateness of data analysis is important.
For example, to assess reliability of questions measured on an interval/ratio scale, internal consistency is appropriate to use.
To assess reliability of knowledge questions, test-retest or split-half is appropriate. Reliability is established using a pilot test by collecting data from 20-30 subjects not included in the sample. Data collected from pilot test is analyzed using SPSS (Statistical Package for Social Sciences) or another software. These are "correlation matrix" and "view alpha if item deleted" column. Each step depends on fine tuning and testing of previous steps that must be completed before the next step.A brief description of each of the five steps follows Figure 1. Sequence for Questionnaire/Instrument Development In this initial step, the purpose, objectives, research questions, and hypothesis of the proposed research are examined.The pilot test seeks to answer the question, does the questionnaire consistently measure whatever it measures?