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This would give you a very good idea of the variety of ideas and feelings people have, it would enable them to think and talk for longer and so show their feelings and views more fully.But it is very difficult to quantify these results.You need to take expert advice in setting up a questionnaire, ensure that all the information about the respondents which you need is included and filled in, and ensure that you actually get them returned.
When you look back at all the things you do at university, well, the academic things, your dissertation should be the thing of which you are most proud. You’ll spend a large chunk of your final year, and probably a whack of your penultimate year, working on it: it will most likely be the lengthiest thing you produce as an undergrad, and it will sit on a shelf in your house long after you graduate, finished and bound like a proper published work.
It’s the thing you can show your friends and family for years to come – an essay’s an essay, but the dissertation looks and feels that bit different, that bit more significant. It looms ahead of you throughout first and second year, when all you really know of it comes from the harassed looking third years camped out in the library.
You will need to ensure that questions are clear, and that you have reliable ways of collecting and managing the data.
Setting up a questionnaire that can be read by an optical mark reader is an excellent idea if you wish to collect large numbers of responses and analyse them statistically rather than reading each questionnaire and entering data manually.
You would find it useful to consult the range of full and excellent research books available.
These will deal in much greater depth with the reasons for, processes of holding, and processes of analysing data from the variety of research methods available to you.Even the production of numbers is guided by the kinds of questions asked of the subjects, so is essentially subjective, although it appears less so than qualitative research data.: an area of study that would benefit from qualitative research would be that of students’ learning styles and approaches to study, which are described and understood subjectively by students.You will be familiar with many of these methods from your work and from MA, MSc or BA study already.Interviews enable face to face discussion with human subjects.You will find that you will need to read all the comments through and to categorise them after you have received them, or merely report them in their diversity and make general statements, or pick out particular comments if they seem to fit your purpose.If you decide to use interviews: Questionnaires often seem a logical and easy option as a way of collecting information from people.This is a common approach and helps you to 'triangulate' ie to back up one set of findings from one method of data collection underpinned by one methodology, with another very different method underpinned by another methodology - for example, you might give out a questionnaire (normally quantitative) to gather statistical data about responses, and then back this up and research in more depth by interviewing (normally qualitative) selected members of your questionnaire sample.For further information see Chapter 8 of by Gina Wisker.They are actually rather difficult to design and because of the frequency of their use in all contexts in the modern world, the response rate is nearly always going to be a problem (low) unless you have ways of making people complete them and hand them in on the spot (and this of course limits your sample, how long the questionnaire can be and the kinds of questions asked).As with interviews, you can decide to use closed or open questions, and can also offer respondents multiple choice questions from which to choose the statement which most nearly describes their response to a statement or item.