Section 4.6.5 Developing a survey

Section 4.6.5 Developing a survey

Section 4.6.5 Developing a survey

Serious consideration should be given to the issues involved in developing your own survey. The compulsory UCD summative student feedback system (SFM – see Section and the UCD webpage) should provide you with the summative data necessary for professional portfolios promotions.


It is recommended that any further evaluation conducted with your UCD students should employ a more formative dimension and be conducted during term to provide in-depth developmental information.


If you would like to add questions to the UCD SFM survey (up to six more questions can be added per module) or would like to develop a survey for non-modular evaluation there are several points to consider:


  • What do you want to find out?


  • What is your focus?


  • What type of data do you need?


  • How will the data be analysed?


  • What methodology is most appropriate?


  • How many students will engage in the evaluation?


  • How much detail do you need?


  • What the reliability and validity concerns?


  • What potentially confounding variables do you have to be aware of?


  • Can you use an established method/tool?


  • Do you have the ability/knowledge to create your own tool?


  • Resource implications


These are explored and developed in countless research-based webpages and text books. References for several recommended texts are attached below.


Activity 4.6.5

There has been debate in the research literature about the use of positively or negatively worded items. There are arguments for and against using solely positive or negative items and using a mixture of the two.

Based on Roszkowski and Soven (2010) (or any other relevant text) provide a critical summary of the main arguments for and against the uses of only positive/negative scale items and the use of mixed positive and negative items

Discussion has also focussed on the use of open- or closed- questions and their value in large scale surveys. While some have queried whether lecturers actually read the comments provided (Brennan and Williams, 2004) others (Harper & Khu, 2007) posit that the qualitative comments provides the most constructive and accurate information.

Using research that deals with this issue (such as Wongsurawat, 2011) provide a summary of the arguments for and against the inclusion or exclusion of open- and closed- ended questions in surveys

Submit your answers


Quantitative-Focused Resources

Clark-Carter, D. (2002). Doing quantitative psychological research: From design to report. New York: Psychology Press.

Kumar, R. (1999). Research methodology: A step-by-step guide for beginners. London: SAGE publications

Qualitative or Mixed-Focused Resources

Cohen, L., Manion, L., & Morrison, K. (2005). Research methods in education. London: RoutledgeFalmer

Lankshear, C. (2005). A handbook for teacher research: From design to implementation. Berkshire: Open University Press.

Ross, L. & Matthews, B. (2010). Research methods: A practical guide for the social sciences. Essex: Pearson Education Limited


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