Establishing the validity and reliability of course evaluation questionnaires

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Dono: Marcos Pedroso

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Última Atualiz.: 06-11-2018 13:56

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This article uses the case of designing a new course questionnaire to discuss the issues
of validity, reliability and diagnostic power in good questionnaire design. Validity is
often not well addressed in course questionnaire design as there are no straightforward
tests that can be applied to an individual instrument. The authors propose the
technique of establishing validity by deriving constructs from naturalistic qualitative
research—in this case by interviewing award-winning teachers about their principles
and practices. Analysis of the interview transcripts led to nine principles of good
teaching, which were developed into nine questionnaire scales. Reliability was tested
with Cronbach’s alpha and with confirmatory factor analysis, as the use of Cronbach’s
alpha alone can mask issues of multi-dimensionality in scales. The concept of
diagnostic power as the ability of an instrument to distinguish between related
constructs is introduced. This is important in course evaluation questionnaires, as it
enables relative strengths and weaknesses to be identified, which makes it possible to
advise on remedial action.

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