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The researcher considers three key factors in selecting an existing instrument for use in a given study. The factors include validity, usability and reliability of the instrument. Usability in this context denotes the ease of application associated with a particular instrument. Validity, on the other hand, refers to the degree to which an instrument generates results that are reflective of the study’s evaluation and measurement aims (Bastos, Duquia, González-Chica, Mesa, & Bonamigo, 2014). In research, there are three forms of validity, namely content, internal and external validity. External validity denotes the level of applicability of a study’s findings or results to other settings or subjects (Bastos et al., 2014). Internal validity refers to the level of congruence of a study’s findings with reality (Bastos et al., 2014). Content validity, on the other hand, focuses on the adequate and effective measurement of different behaviors, elements and skills (Bastos et al., 2014). Zohrabi (2013) posits that reliability is concerned with the replicability, consistency and dependability of a research study’s results.
The researcher may locate an existing instrument by conducting an extensive review of literature to determine the most appropriate instrument for their study. This may entail scouring through research databases and examining the instruments used in previous research studies that bear similarities with their research study (Mastel, Morris-Knower, & Marsalis, 2016).
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Questionnaires will be the existing instruments that will be used to address the study’s research question. The responses in the questionnaires will then be codified at the data analysis stage. In the research study, data collection procedures will entail handing out pre-structured questionnaires to the selected participants. The use of questionnaire will allow for the collection of information that participants may not be willing to convey using other instruments.
- Bastos, J. L., Duquia, R. P., González-Chica, D. A., Mesa, J. M., & Bonamigo, R. R. (2014). Field work I: selecting the instrument for data collection. Anais brasileiros de dermatologia, 89(6), 918-923.
- Mastel, K., Morris-Knower, J., & Marsalis, S. (2016). Locating Tests and Measurement Instruments for Assessment. Journal of Extension, 54(4), n4.
- Zohrabi, M. (2013). Mixed method research: Instruments, validity, reliability and reporting findings. Theory and Practice in Language Studies, 3(2), 254.