Using focus groups, expert advice, and cognitive interviews to establish the validity of a college student survey

Judith A. Ouimet, Jo Anne C. Bunnage, Robert M. Carini, George D. Kuh, John Kennedy

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

This study focused on how the design of a national student survey instrument was informed and improved through the combined use of student focus groups, cognitive interviews, and expert survey design advice. We were specifically interested in determining (a) how students interpret the items and response options, (b) the frequency of behaviors or activities associated with the response options, (c) if the items are clearly worded and specific enough to produce reliable and valid results, and (d) if the items and response categories accurately represent students' behaviors and perceptions. We collected focus group data from 8 colleges and universities as part of a nationally funded research project on student engagement. The findings provide additional insight into the importance of using focus groups and cognitive interviews to learn how students interpret various items and what different responses really mean.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)233-250
Number of pages18
JournalResearch in Higher Education
Volume45
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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