Learning and Evaluation/Archive/Learning modules/3Operationalize

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Survey Questionnaire

Before writing the survey questionnaire, one needs to operationalize the construct—or identify the strategy for measuring the construct. Constructs are often operationalized as proxy measures, using peripheral indicators that suggest the presence or absence of the underlying construct. These are typically a person's perception of the phenomenon or measures of a related phenomenon.

If this is confusing, the example at the bottom might be helpful. But, let's continue...

Surveys are "proxy measures" because they do not measure a phenomenon directly; instead, they obtain information about the phenomena through the perceptions of the survey respondents. These perceptions could be either observations of others or observations of oneself, which is also known as a self-report.

The proxy measures that result from operationalizing constructs lead to the development of survey objectives, like in the example below.

The construct A person's interest in editing Wikipedia can be operationalized with the proxy measures of their "behaviors" and "attitudes" around editing Wikipedia.
The following survey question objectives can be developed and used when writing survey questions:
The question objective is to understand a person's interest to edit Wikipedia in terms of their:
(1) editing behaviors
(2) intentions to edit