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Conducting field research in a primary school setting: methodological considerations for maximizing response rates, data quality and quantity

Citation

Trapp, G and Giles-Corti, B and Martin, K and Timperio, A and Villanueva, K, Conducting field research in a primary school setting: methodological considerations for maximizing response rates, data quality and quantity, Health Education Journal, 71, (5) pp. 590-596. ISSN 0017-8969 (2011) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

The Author(s) 2011.

DOI: doi:10.1177/0017896911411766

Abstract

Objective:

The aim of this paper is to describe the five strategies used to increase response rates, data quality and quantity in the TRansport Environment and Kids (TREK) project.

Setting:

The TREK project examined the association between neighbourhood urban design and active transport in Grade 57 school children (n = 1480) attending 25 primary schools in metropolitan Perth, Western Australia during 2007.

Method:

Children completed several survey components during school time (i.e. questionnaire, mapping activity, travel diary and anthropometric measurements) and at home (i.e. pedometer study, parent questionnaire).

Results:

Overall, 69.4% of schools and 56.6% of children agreed to participate in the study and, of these, 89.9% returned a completed travel diary, 97.8% returned their pedometer and 88.8% of parents returned their questionnaire. These return rates are superior to similar studies. Five strategies appeared important: (1) building positive relationships with key school personnel; (2) child-centred approaches to survey development; (3) comprehensive classroom management techniques to standardize and optimize group sessions; (4) extensive follow-up procedures for collecting survey items; and (5) a specially designed data management/monitoring system.

Conclusion:

Sharing methodological approaches for obtaining high-quality data will ensure research opportunities within schools are maximized. These methodological issues have implications for planning, budgeting and implementing future research.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:children, data collection, research methods, schools
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Curriculum and pedagogy
Research Field:Curriculum and pedagogy not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Teaching and curriculum
Objective Field:Teaching and curriculum not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Martin, K (Professor Karen Martin)
ID Code:153982
Year Published:2011
Web of Science® Times Cited:4
Deposited By:Education
Deposited On:2022-10-20
Last Modified:2022-11-14
Downloads:0

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