Before we get down to actual coding, there are two things to be done. One is compulsory, the other highly recommended.
• The compulsory task is to give each questionnaire a unique identification code. In practice this may involve taking each questionnaire one by one and numbering them sequentially by writing a code number in one of the top corners of the front page. Questionnaires coming from the same group (e.g., same school or class) should be kept together and marked with a special code: for example, the first one or two digits of the questionnaire code can refer to the school, the next one to the particular class within the school, and the final numbers identify the individual learners.
• The second task is one that is normally not mentioned in research methodology books. However, years of research experience have convinced me that it is essential to start a formal 'Research Logbook' at this point. Data analysis will require you to make decisions on an ongoing basis and unless these are properly documented you are likely to soon forget or mix up some of these. As with any real logbook, all the entries should be properly dated and the consecutive pages of the logbook should be numbered and kept together in a folder. Such a logbook will not only help to sort out any emerging confusion but will also contain invaluable recorded information that is readily usable during the writing-up stage (cf. Section 4.6).
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