Starting 6 weeks after the first round of data went out, I started handing out my second round of questionnaires to the New Hire teachers. Two full weeks already behind schedule. And to top that off, a few people had just handed me their first round of data, while others had handed it to me nearly 6 weeks ago. That’s a decent gap for gathering data at “the beginning” of the school year. But it is what it is. Luckily, it appears as though that nearly all of the teachers had filled out the questionnaire when I gave it to them; just some sent it in, while others kept it in their classroom for personal pick-up.
I started thinking to myself–how could I make this easier on myself, while garnering all of the responses in a non-obtrusive way (after all, they are doing this voluntarily and aren’t even receiving a gift card for participating). When you lack a research crew (i.e. research assistants), you have to do everything yourself. Typically this would mean that I would want to do the least amount of work disseminating the data, because I am just a one man research team.
My first thought was that when I delivered the questionnaires, I could simply ask them to fill it out right then and there. Or rather, have them step out of the classroom, while I manage the children. I quickly rethought that idea, since 15 minutes multiplied by the number of participants equaled a lot of time in the classrooms. Time I didn’t have, since research is only part of my job duties. The easiest dissemination idea would be to develop a questionnaire and post it on the internet, like through surveymonkey.com. This would allow me to be able to be at my desk and allow the preschool teachers to fill out the survey whenever it suited them. Plus the questionnaires would be time stamped, so I would know exactly when they completed filling out the forms. However, experience has shown me that teachers are way too leery of someone monitoring their internet usage, even if they completed the form during down time (i.e. children napping). They liked anonymity.
So I continued the way I was doing it–physically driving to each school, handing out the second round of data, and driving to make the drives as organized and short as possible.