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Sunderland Repository records the research produced by the University of Sunderland including practice-based research and theses.

Enhancing Questionnaire Design Through Participant Engagement to Improve the Outputs of Evaluation.

Hume, Colette (2017) Enhancing Questionnaire Design Through Participant Engagement to Improve the Outputs of Evaluation. Doctoral thesis, University of Sunderland.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)


Questionnaires are habitual choices for many user experience evaluators,
providing a well-recognised and accepted, fast and cost effective method of
collecting and analysing data. However, despite frequent and widespread use
in evaluation, reliance on questionnaires can be problematic. Satisficing,
acquiescence bias and straight lining are common response biases
associated with questionnaires, typically resulting in suboptimal responses
and provision of poor quality data. These problems can relate to a lack of
engagement with evaluation tasks, yet there is a lack of previous research
that has attempted to alleviate these limitations by making questionnaires
more fun or enjoyable to enhance participant engagement.
This research seeks to address whether ‘user evaluation questionnaires can
be designed to be engaging to improve optimal responding. The aim of this
research is to investigate if response quality can be improved through
enhancing questionnaire design both to reduce common response biases and
to maintain participant engagement. The evaluation context for this study was
provided by MIXER, an interactive, narrative-based application for intercultural
sensitivity learning, used and evaluated by 9-11 year old children in the
classroom context.
A series of Participatory Design studies with children investigated
engagement and optimal responding with questionnaires. These initial studies
informed the design of a series of questionnaires created in the form of three
workbooks that were used to evaluate MIXER with over 400 children.
A mixed methods approach was used to evaluate the questionnaires. Results
demonstrate that by making questionnaire completion more enjoyable data
quality is improved. Response biases are reduced, quantitative data are more
complete and qualitative responses are more verbose and meaningful
compared to standard questionnaires. Further, children reported that
completing the questionnaires was a fun and enjoyable activity that they
would wish to repeat in the future.
As a discipline in its own right, evaluation is under-investigated. Similarly user
evaluation is not evaluated with a lack of papers considering this issue in this
millennium. Thus, this research provides a significant contribution to the field
of evaluation, highlighting that the outputs of user evaluation with
questionnaires are improved when participant engagement informs
questionnaire design. The result is a more positive evaluation experience for
participants and in return a higher standard of data provision for evaluators
and R&D teams.

Thesis Final C.Hume .pdf - Accepted Version

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Depositing User: Barry Hall


Item ID: 7065

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Date Deposited: 22 Mar 2017 11:24
Last Modified: 20 May 2019 13:04


Author: Colette Hume

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