A Structured Conceptualization Approach to Survey Instrument Design
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Concept mapping provides a method of structured conceptualization where diverse stakeholders may develop a framework that can produce a variety of strategic planning or evaluation instruments. This paper illustrates a novel approach using concept mapping to develop a survey instrument with greater collaboration and buy-in than traditional best practices of survey design. Typically, the content and structure of a survey instrument represents the ideas of one or two primary investigators charged with its design. In this case, concept mapping provided a structured and efficient process to form a set of statements that became the raw material for survey questions. The clustering of statements gave order to the survey sections. Several diverse groups participated in the statement generation and sorting process in addition to the primary investigators of the projects. The first project entailed the development of a 47 question survey instrument to evaluate Home Energy Use in Central New York for the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). The second project is the design of a 14 question survey instrument to aid in the development of a municipal comprehensive plan. Both surveys were implemented successfully without many of the issues of poor design, low response and missing information that frequently hamper such efforts.
Survey Research; Concept Mapping
dissertation or thesis