Designing Research Instruments
A survey is a tool used in the study of descriptive research. It is usually conducted to gather information from the representatives of a certain population (Kelley, et. al. , 2003). With the information, the researcher should be able to come up with an inference. However, surveying is not as easy as conducting it. Primarily, a survey is done by a company to be able to ascertain the acceptance of a certain product to be released or something similar.
The basic steps of doing a survey are as follows: goal-setting, determining samples, choosing a method of interview, making the questionnaire, pre-testing of the questionnaires and the analysis of the data derived from the survey (“The Survey System, 2006”). Firstly, goals must be set so that a researcher knows what is needed to be done. It is important to know the goal of the survey so that the researcher would immediately know what to do and also to tell the researcher if the information gathering is getting nowhere.
Second, determining who are to be surveyed is important because the one who will be given the survey will be the ones who will give the researcher the data to draw a conclusion. If the information is not enough, the conclusion may be fallacious in nature. Also, if the determination of the respondents certainly has bias, then the conclusions that would be made may not be credible. Third, the method of the interview is also important because it determines what type of information would be gathered from the respondents.
If a certain method elicits only a type of information, then the survey has a specific question to be answered. Furthermore, the method to be used also takes into account the tendency of people to not respond at all or give false answers. Fourth, is making the questionnaire to be used in the gathering of data. It is obviously important because without the questionnaire, there will be no survey. The questions are the tools which the researcher will use to gather information. In addition, properly used questions can be immediately understood by the respondents, whereas, confusing ones will only make the respondents mixed up.
Fifth, the pre-testing of questionnaires is vital because it verifies if the questions were understood by the respondents well or misinterpreted by them. And lastly, the analysis of data is the most crucial part of doing a survey because it is where the information that is gathered synthesized to make bits of conclusions. In addition, every effort used in surveying would be rendered useless if the interpretations are incorrect and does not make any sense. Thus, everything can be put into waste just because of a wrong analysis, even with the correct type of data, etc. Descriptive surveys are surveys involving the management process.
Specifically, it includes the system and courses of action associated with the function of networks, financial practices, and operation in the network, training and development among others (“Core and Descriptive Survey Report”, 2006).. There are descriptive survey instruments that can be used to gather a specific type of data from a respondent. In particular, these instruments are the survey of the different networks in the company like Financial Practices survey, Training and Development survey, Network Operations survey and others. This is because every sector that is encompassed by descriptive surveys has an own type of survey.
This way, the specific information that differs from one sector to another will be reviewed thoroughly in the survey. For example, there is a management and governance survey which is used to compare and contrast the old and the current system of networks and what works better. And also, there is a financial practices survey that is also a survey but touches a different topic, nevertheless, also a descriptive survey. The financial practices survey assesses the sources of the funding of the company in particular and the costs where the funds are being put into use.
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