operational definition

Human and social services professionals are both consumers and producers of research. While having a thorough understanding of the meaning of research for professional practice is essential, it is also important for you to have a basic understanding of how to conduct research. Surveys can be one form of research used for all areas of your practice, but they are especially useful in needs assessment. You can use surveys to determine unmet client needs or the degree to which clients are satisfied with your current services. They may also be used to evaluate the effectiveness of a particular program offered by a school, hospital, organization, or agency.

For this Application, you develop a survey instrument and describe your procedures for analyzing the data. These experiences will help you to develop a foundational knowledge of survey methodology.

To Prepare

Imagine that you are creating a needs assessment for the professional issue or interest you identified in this week’s Discussion. Develop an operational definition for the construct you will need to measure (e.g., “job satisfaction”). Then, construct a 10-item survey to measure this construct. Your survey questions should be measurable and based on one of the designs in the Learning Resources (i.e., Likert scale, indexes, etc.).

The Assignment (2–3 pages):

Submit your 10-item survey and a brief explanation of the survey design used to construct it. Be sure to include the operationalized definition of the construct you wish to measure. Briefly explain your rationale for including the items and describe how you would collect and analyze data from the survey. Finally, explain at least one challenge in constructing a survey of this nature. Be specific and provide examples.

 
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