Previous step: Writing your summaries
Phase 2 of your PAT requires you to create and execute a survey; you will create a questionnaire using Microsoft Word. Remember at all times that the questions on this questionnaire are totally separate from your Phase 1 Research Questions. Creating a questionnaire is covered in the Study Opportunities textbooks (Grade 12, p.249; Grade 11, p.308) in the information management module. The theory aspect can be assessed in a theory assessment — popular questions include asking about open and closed questions.
In this post:
- Biographical questions
- Topic questions
- Closed questions
- Open question
- Data Goals
- Providing Instructions
It is vitally important to note that the requirements around the data collected have changed this year (2021) for the Grade 12 PAT. The requirements are more specific, especially regarding the “extra data from a source other than your questionnaire” of previous years. You will be expected to collect data from a separate source and compare the information derived from your questionnaire to this extra data source – this will require a bit of extra planning to ensure that you can find data “external” data to match with your questionnaire data.
Create a questionnaire as a one-page Word document. Remember to use the correct Word skills to create an attractive, professional document. Use skills such as columns to maximise the use of the space available on the page, remembering to add enough white space to maintain readability!
Tip: Your name, surname & the name of your school must appear in the footer to make it easier to keep track of the hard copies!
Your goal is to collect data that you will be able to analyze as required — most importantly: you need numeric data!
2. Biographical Questions
Create a sub-heading: “Biographical Questions”. This set of questions gathers information about the respondent. Include a minimum of 4 questions:
- Employment status
- Area of residence
3. Topic questions
The Grade 10 Learner Guide includes a set of questions for the questionnaire which can be used as-is.
Create a second sub-heading: “Topic questions” (in an automatically numbered list):
- You need a minimum of 5 questions:
- 4 closed questions,
- of which only one is a Yes/No option, and
- two of which must have at least 3, but preferably more options, and one of which must allow the respondent to select multiple options
- 1 open question
- 4 closed questions,
- You MUST include instructions (or an example) for every question:
- “Tick as many boxes as are appropriate”
- “Circle only one option”
- “Rate 1 to 10, 1 being least interested and 10 being extremely interested”
Use symbols etc. for check-boxes. Your check-boxes should be to the left of their labels (remember to add a space in between them) like so:
This makes it far easier to align the option. If you have many options, try laying them out using columns:
|▢ Vanilla||▢ Chocolate|
|▢ Strawberry||▢ Capuccino|
|▢ Tin Roof||▢ Rocky Road|
|▢ Chocolate Mint Chip|
Use Tab Stops with Leader lines to provide a place for the respondent to write in response to open questions.
4. Closed Questions
A closed question is a question which:
- Is almost always asked and answered by selecting a prescribed answer from some type of finite list (has a limited number of possible responses):
- Check boxes
- Radio buttons
- Drop-down lists
- Range selection
- Can be answered directly with a fact
These are easier for respondents to answer and easier for you to capture and analyze — this results in more accurate data.
5. Open Question
An open question usually requires an opinion from a respondent. Your questionnaire must provide lines to indicate where the respondent should write their answer. You must add an instruction such as: “Describe in a short sentence…”.
6. Data Goals
You will find the Excel and Access sections of the PAT easier to complete if you pay close attention to the type of data you are collecting using your questionnaire.
This can be achieved by ensuring that most of your questions result in numerical data that can be analysed (closed questions make this easier).
Open questions are difficult (but NOT impossible) to analyse.
7. Providing Instructions
Each question must have a clear instruction, for example:
- Tick one option only
- Select one or more options by entering an “X” in the box
- Your age in numbers
- Rate your knowledge on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being “poor” and 10 being “excellent”.
Once your questionnaire is completed, copies must be printed and the questionnaire must be administered to respondents:
- Grade 12: 25 respondents
- Grade 11: 20 respondents
- Grade 10: 10 respondents
Once the respondents have completed your questionnaire your next step is to capture the data in Excel.
If you opt to use a digital form, like Google Forms, you must be careful to still fulfil all the requirements of the PAT.