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Part 1 (a) – Develop a questionnaire (15 marks)
A University in the North of England runs a successful postgraduate portfolio of courses with Masters’ programmes that run in full-time, part-time and distance-learning formats. The Director for Programmes is interested in determining the levels of satisfaction amongst the distance-learning students, given the fierce competition for such students within the UK, European and wider International marketplaces.
There are around 600 students who have recently completed a programme of study in distance-learning mode. It is expected that all of these students will be targeted by a postal or email survey to determine what they perceive to be the strengths and challenges of both their programme and the support mechanisms put in place for this mode of delivery.
Design a questionnaire which could be used by the University to find out about these issues. The questionnaire can include ideas based on your own experiences as students and credit will also be given for using ideas generated through basic research into distance-learning delivery.
Your questionnaire should be a maximum of three pages long and should be presented professionally so that it is ready to send out to potential respondents.
Students are permitted to use the ‘Qualtrics’ software to produce their questionnaire, but this is not compulsory and students can choose to produce their questionnaire using normal word processing packages. The marks awarded for the questionnaire will not be dependent on the software used to design the questionnaire, however if Qualtrics is used then presentation should still be of a professional report standard, and a coding plan should still be provided.
Part 1 (b) – Discussion of distribution method and associated documents [250 words] (10 marks)
In this section you should discuss how the questionnaire should be distributed, given the university’s preference for postal or email survey. In your discussion, give details of how this would be done in practice and assess the benefits and challenges of using your chosen method of questionnaire dissemination, including methods for tackling non-response. You should also design a full and appropriate coding plan for your questionnaire and include any other supporting documentation that would accompany it.
Your questionnaire, coding plan, and supporting documentation should be presented in appendices to the assignment.
Part 1 (c) - Critical evaluation of your questionnaire [1000 words] (15 marks)
In this section of the assignment you are required to provide a critical evaluation of the questionnaire you have developed. Consider your design decisions: the structure; presentation; types of questions used; supporting instructions for the potential respondents. You should justify your design decisions by considering the case scenario presented above and support this with reference to appropriate Research Methods textbooks and journal articles.
Important information: The questionnaire and associated documentation do not count towards the word limit because they are included in the appendices. You are not going to use your questionnaire to collect data and the questionnaire you design should not aim to collect the data as presented in Part 2 below, which involves a different aspect of the scenario to that described in Part 1. Instead, you will be provided with a set of data in Part 2. There is not a direct link between your questionnaire and the data in Part 2.
Part 2 – Data analysis, findings and managerial implications [1750 words] (60 marks)
You have been provided with a data set consisting of 275 student records from a distance delivery Masters’ Programme at another UK University.
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