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  1. #1
    lochuan is offline Newbie
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    May I get your feedback about my essay. My teacher thinks it's bad, I don't agree.

    The Limitation of Questionnaire Approach for Accomplishing a Field Research


    Introduction
    College students like myself usually need to perform some field researches. Questionnaires are the most usual method to help us finish our researches, but questionnaires have problems. Although the questionnaire was most commonly utilized method to research, it was abused. As a means of improving student’s writing skills, our professor asked our class to get along a field research by questionnaires and write an essay based on the questionnaire results. There are some problems: Is the sample size enough to back up the research? Is enough time to obtain enough samples? Did respondents seriously answer the queries?
    The answers to these questions can provide insight into the problems of questionnaires. They also can lead college students to find more skillful ways to accomplish field researches, to make them avoid skewed data in researches and to improve their research capacities.


    Real Experiment
    To be honest. At the beginning, the subject I was going to study was the comparison between open courses and university courses. I talked to the professor about what I want to study, and we all found that it may very difficult to get enough research data for my study. Most of the students in our class are the freshman, they may have no enough experiences in open courses. If I carry out my subject in the form of a questionnaire, I might produce nothing. At that time, I began to sense that it is difficult for college students to complete a study through a questionnaire. In order to verify this hypothesis, I proceeded to complete my questionnaire. I want to demonstrate the limitations of the questionnaires through a questionnaire. How weird is it to use the questionnaire to prove the limitations of the questionnaire. Einstein once said: “No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong”. Some people may use the questionnaire to prove the questionnaires are good. Maybe it is good. But, I only want to prove its limitations through a single experiment. There are 20 questions in my questionnaire. The questions are randomly ordered. Some of these questions have a strong relevance. Let me give an example here. Say, there are two questions: (1) Are you thirsty? (2) Do you want to drink water? If someone answers “yes” to the first question and “no” to the second question. What can this tell us? First, The man did not answer the questions seriously. Second, The man is lying. Third, The man is very stubborn. Lastly, The man is a mental patient. We all know that the probability of the latter two cases is very low in a normal situation. But the probability of the first two cases is very high. We should pay close attention to the problem. Let me put in my questionnaire results. From 6/5/2017 13:16:39 to 6/5/2017 14:30:43, seven peoples answered the questions in the questionnaire. This result can answer two of three questions I have raised at the beginning. Is the sample size enough to back up the research? Definitely No. Is enough time to obtain enough samples? Definitely No. Is this the limitation of the questionnaire? Definitely No. Wait, the title of this essay is “The Limitation of Questionnaire Approach for Accomplishing a Field Research” . Is not that contradictory now? Definitely No! Don’t forget the third question: Did respondents seriously answered the queries? If the answer to this question is negative, the bigger the sample, the more tragedy. The longer the time it takes to collect data, the more time wasted. Fairly say, The first and the second question can be solved by the questionnaire. By the questionnaire, large amounts of data can be collected from a large number of people in a short period of time and in a relatively cost effective way. I think this is also the reason why the professor asked us using the questionnaire to finish our field research. Although the sample I collected was not enough for me to complete my original field research topic. But it is plenty for me to complete this subject: The Limitation of Questionnaire Approach for Accomplishing a Field Research.


    Experiment Result
    As I mentioned above, the biggest limitation of the questionnaire is that the respondents don’t answer the questions seriously. In another word, it lacks validity. And there is no way to tell how truthful a respondent is being. In Real Experiment section, I explained that an elaborately designed questionnaire can detect how truthful a respondent is being. Let’s look at some question bundles: (1) #I can learn things on my own better than most people. #I don't work very well on my own. (2) #I know what I want to learn. #If there is something I want to learn, I can figure out a way to learn it. #In a classroom situation, I expect the instructor to tell all class members exactly what to do at all times. In the first question bundle, 100% of respondents feel that they can learn things on themselves better than most people. 71.4% of respondents feel that they don’t work very well on their own. We can deduct that only 28.6% of respondents realize that this is a different description of the same problem. For the second question, 85.7% of respondents feel that they know what they want to learn. And 100% of respondents feel that if there is something they want to learn, they can figure out a way to learn it. The weird thing is 100% of respondents feel that in a classroom situation, they expect the instructor to tell all class members exactly what to do at all times. Know what you want to learn and know how to learn is contradictory to rely on the teacher to tell you how to learn. It seems nobody realized the relevance of the second question bundle. Further speaking, the credibility of this questionnaire is only 28.6%. It’s disastrous to adopt a 28.6%-credibility data sample in a research. This is an unavoidable limitation on the questionnaire. Through this study, I was deeply aware of the limitation of the questionnaire.


    Conclusion
    Questionnaires are one of the most affordable ways to gather quantitative data. Especially online and mobile surveys have a very low cost and a generous reach. And questionnaires allow you to gather information from a large audience. While there are many positives to questionnaires, dishonesty can be a limitation. Respondents may not be 100 percent truthful with their answers. Everyone hopes for conscientious responses, but there’s no way to know if the respondent has really thought the question through before answering. At times, answers will be chosen before fully reading the question or the potential answers. Sometimes respondents will skip through questions, or split-second choices may be made, affecting the validity of your data. I think the questionnaire is not suitable for serious research. Serious research should avoid using questionnaires. Even in some simple surveys, you should design some strong relevance questions to filter corrupt data.
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 12-Jun-2017 at 15:12. Reason: Standardised font and font size

  2. #2
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    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Re: May I get your feedback about my essay. My teacher thinks it's bad, I don't agree

    Welcome to the forum.

    I'm fairly sure your teacher didn't just give you back your essay and say "It's bad". What were your teacher's comments and corrections. What, specifically, did he/she suggest is wrong with it.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  3. #3
    lochuan is offline Newbie
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    Re: May I get your feedback about my essay. My teacher thinks it's bad, I don't agree

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    Welcome to the forum.

    I'm fairly sure your teacher didn't just give you back your essay and say "It's bad". What were your teacher's comments and corrections. What, specifically, did he/she suggest is wrong with it.
    I think that I need some extra explanation about my situation. I am a Chinese student study in South Korea now. At a Korean university, you can't object to a teacher's point of view. This semester, the teacher asked us to write a field research essay based on the result of questionnaire. I think the questionnaire is not a good way to accomplish a field research. I wrote this critical article, My teacher was very angry. So, she said my essay is bad.

    I want a fair evaluation.
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 12-Jun-2017 at 16:09. Reason: Reduced font size

  4. #4
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    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Re: May I get your feedback about my essay. My teacher thinks it's bad, I don't agree

    So your teacher asked you to write an field research essay based on the results of a questionnaire and you chose instead to write an essay criticising the use of a questionnaire as the basis for such research? I can see why your teacher might have been less than pleased.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  5. #5
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    teechar is offline Moderator
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    Re: May I get your feedback about my essay. My teacher thinks it's bad, I don't agree

    I'm not sure how we can help you. If I were you, I would make an attempt at writing an essay based on your survey results and hand it in to the teacher. Don't worry too much about the design, validity or even value of this survey. From what I understood, this was just meant to be an exercise to improve your writing skills, right?

  6. #6
    lochuan is offline Newbie
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    Re: May I get your feedback about my essay. My teacher thinks it's bad, I don't agree

    I explained in my essay that my questionnaire only received 7 responses. There are more than half of the seven responses are self-contradiction. It's impossible to finish an essay based on these responses. I think that questionnaire has its own limitation, so I wrote the essay. I did not mean to criticize. The limitation is there whether or not anyone has come up and say it. I just want some faire evaluation.

  7. #7
    lochuan is offline Newbie
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    Re: May I get your feedback about my essay. My teacher thinks it's bad, I don't agree

    Thanks for your advice. I really appreciate it. I think that I am too obsessed with "meaningful research".

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