Administering the Questionnaire

One area in which a questionnaire study can go very wrong concerns the procedures used to administer the questionnaire. Strangely enough, this aspect of survey research has hardly ever been discussed in the L2 literature - questionnaire administration is often considered a mere technical issue relegated to the discretion of the research assistants. This is wrong; there is ample evidence in the measurement literature that questionnaire administration procedures play a significant role in affecting the quality of the elicited responses. In this chapter, I will first look at the selection of an appropriate sample, then discuss the various types of questionnaire administration and the strategies that can be employed to promote positive questionnaire attitudes and involvement on the part of the respondents. Finally, I will address the issue of confidentiality/anonymity and other ethical responsibilities survey researchers have.

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