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E-FOLIO  April 2006

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Subject:

#4 [FOLIO] Uses of questionnaires and icebreaker [Day 4]

From:

Lynda Ayiku <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Lynda Ayiku <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 27 Apr 2006 09:20:42 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (141 lines)

(NB- For those following the self-directed route, please scroll down to 
the ‘Icebreaker Message’ section of this email).


Icebreaker Introduction:

As this is an entirely distance learning course, we will not be meeting 
face-to-face. However, there will be some interactive exercises, which will 
provide a similar level of activity to more traditional workshop sessions. 
Today is the first of these tasks, which involves an informal icebreaker 
exercise for those following the group-supported route.

The interactive exercises on this course will require working in small 
groups of "buddies”. Look up your buddies’ names and email addresses on the 
list provided at: http://www.nelh.nhs.uk/folio/asq/buddy.htm.  The purpose 
of the “buddy group” concept is to enable you to interact with your fellow 
course mates as you would at a face-to-face workshop.

As there are key exercises for the ASQ course that require joint 
collaboration with your buddies, we must stress that it is very important 
for you to communicate at the required times and to inform your group if 
you wish to withdraw from the course or are not able to participate for a 
substantial length of time. Please inform your buddies of any difficulties 
that you may encounter as soon as possible.  

If one of your buddies withdraws from the course, it will still be possible 
to complete the tasks set as a pair or trio.  In the event of all the other 
members of your buddy group withdrawing from the course, we will make 
alternative arrangements for you to complete joint exercises, so you will 
not be penalised in the course assessment.



Icebreaker Message:

No doubt you will have all had experiences of questionnaires, either in 
your workplace or outside of work, or probably both…(I think we’ve all been 
hunted down on the high street at some stage by a market researcher wanting 
to know what we think about the latest developments in biscuits or similar!)
In fact it is noted that questionnaires “are probably the most common 
research instrument that librarians encounter in their day-to-day 
practice”1.  They are a cost-effective method of gathering information, 
which is probably one of the reasons why they are so common, particularly 
in library and information services where budgets are often tight!

There are many different uses for questionnaires.  The two that you are 
most likely to have come across are EVALUATION and RESEARCH.

EVALUTION: this can be an evaluation of your library and information 
service as a whole, or evaluation of specific services - e.g. information 
skills training, literature searching services, inter-library loans, your 
website etc.  Evaluation mainly concerns collecting the opinions of your 
users about your service(s).

RESEARCH: this may be for a specific project or to inform development of 
your service(s).  A good example of this is an information needs analysis 
(for more information on conducting an information needs analysis see the 
FOLIO PACINA course website: http://www.nelh.nhs.uk/folio/pacina/home.htm).

Some other uses of questionnaires that you may not be quite so familiar 
with are:

Using a questionnaire as a MARKETING TOOL: questionnaires can test your 
users’ awareness of the services/resources you offer.  As part of the 
questionnaire you can ask respondents if they would like to receive more 
information about the service(s), asking them to provide their contact 
details if they wish to receive such information (remember to include 
a “data protection” disclaimer).  This can then be followed up with 
promotional material, such as leaflets, informative emails, or telephone 
calls as appropriate.

INTERNAL uses of questionnaires: for example employee satisfaction surveys 
(possibly more common in large organisations), and employee exit surveys 
which relates to knowledge management - i.e. making sure that if someone 
leaves the organisation they don’t take all the knowledge with them! (For 
more information on knowledge management see the FOLIO G2G course website: 
http://www.nelh.nhs.uk/folio/g2g/home.htm, particularly the materials 
on “knowledge harvesting” at: http://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/cgi-bin/webadmin?
A2=ind0507&L=folio&T=0&F=&S=&P=661).



The ASQ Questionnaire Task:

During this course, you are all going to be working on producing your own 
questionnaire relating to the library and information service in which you 
work.  As the course progresses, we will be taking you through this task 
step-by-step to help you achieve the final product - your questionnaire.  
Today is step one, all about the uses of questionnaires.



WHAT YOU NEED TO DO:

Step One: Groups (those following the self-directed route, please scroll 
down to find your instructions below)

1.  Individually, think of a current instance where it would be useful to 
conduct a questionnaire in your workplace.  Consider the following:

- what are you trying to find out and why?
- what impact do you expect the results of the questionnaire to have 
on your service - for example do you expect to make any 
changes/improvements etc.

2. Locate your buddy group on the ASQ Buddy Group list at: 
http://www.nelh.nhs.uk/folio/asq/buddy.htm 

3.  Along with an introduction about yourself, your job role and your 
interests, email your buddies with your thoughts on the above. 

4.  Remember to copy your email message into the allocated space in your 
portfolio.

**DATE FOR YOUR DIARY - please note that you are required to submit your 
questionnaire to the FOLIO team by 5pm on Thursday 25 May [Day 23 of the 
course]**



Step One: Self-directed route

1.  Think of a current instance where it would be useful to conduct a 
questionnaire in your workplace.  Consider the following:

- what are you trying to find out and why?
- what impact do you expect the results of the questionnaire to have 
on your service - for example do you expect to make any 
changes/improvements etc.

2.  Record your thoughts on the above in your portfolio.

**DATE FOR YOUR DIARY - please note that you are required to submit your 
questionnaire to the FOLIO team by 5pm on Thursday 25 May [Day 23 of the 
course]**



Reference:
1.  Booth A. (2003) A quest for questionnaires. Health Information & 
Libraries Journal 20 (1): 53-6.

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