TABLE OF CONTENTS
DEVELOPING RESEARCH OBJECTIVES ………………………………………………………………………………………… 2
DISCUSSING DATA REQUIREMENTS …………………………………………………………….……………………………. 4
SURVEY METHOD AND SAMPLE FRAME ……………………………………………………………………………………. 6
DEVELOPING THE QUESTIONNAIRE……………………………………………….………………………………………….. 8
PRETEST AND REVISION OF THE QUESTIONNAIRE...……………………………………………………………………15
FINAL QUESTIONNAIRE FORMAT AND LAYOUT………………………………………………………………………….17
ADDRESSING RESEARCH OBJECTIVES………………………………………………………………………………………….20
REFERENCES ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 23
APPENDIX 1: EMAIL COVER LETTER REQUESTING QUESTIONNAIRE PARTICIPATION ………………… 24
APPENDIX 2: THE PRE-TEST QUESTIONNAIRE …………………………………………………………………………… 25
APPENDIX 3: THE REVISED FINAL QUESTIONNAIRE ………………………………………………………………… 29
DEVELOPING RESEARCH OBJECTIVES
The focus of this study is to conduct primary research for the School of Administrative Studies (SAS) at the
Manchester United University (MUU), on the views of current students with respect to the academic quality of the
Bachelor of Administrative Studies Program (BAS) at the MUU.
The intention of the marketing research team is to record and report students evaluation of the BAS programs, which
is to be determined in terms of program curriculum, teaching, support services and external reputation. The study
also anticipates to discover and report attitudes about the BAS program and to analyze if a correlation or differences
in attitudes of students about the BAS program exist by major/concentration and/or Grade Point Average (GPA).The
research objectives for this study are listed below in accordance to their significance to the study in ascending order:
1. To collect data that would present a true indication of student’s attitudes regarding the quality of the BAS
program at MUU.
This data would identify and provide SAS with insights regarding variables in the BAS program that are working
for students and highlights areas where the program needs attention or upgrading. The data to be collected
hopes to uncover insights for the SAS with student’s attitudes regarding the curriculum, support services and
the teaching faculty.
Hypothesis:Students enrolled at MUU, rate the quality of education in the BAS program as excellent in terms
of curriculum, support services and teaching faculty.
2. To identify the BAS program’s external reputation in comparison to other BAS programs in prominent
universities located in the immediate province.
The data collected hopes to discover the quality of BAS program through the prospective of current students
enrolled in the BAS program at MUU, and uncover how students at MUU rate their BAS program in
comparison to other universities offering BAS programs within their residing province. This data is directed
purposefully to achieve a ranking of the universities BAS programs and how students at MUU rank their BAS
program in direct comparison to other universities offering BAS programs within the province.
Hypothesis: The BAS program at MUU ranks number one among all the other provincial universities listed in
3. To identify whether students major/stream in the BAS programs has an impact on their attitude towards
the BAS program at MUU.
The data gather hopes to discover whether the student’s major (i.e. Marketing, Accounting, Finance,
Management, etc.) has an impact on their attitude towards the BAS program at MUU. For instance if the
students majoring in Marketing regard the BAS program at MUU higher then students majoring in Accounting
or other streams. Or, for instance students majoring in Finance regard the program lacking and rate BAS
program at MUU inferior to other universities in the province or vice versa. This data to be collected will
enable the SAS to weigh the programs and make appropriate decisions to either maintain or enhance the
quality of the BAS program (majors in particular) curriculum.
Hypothesis:The students major/stream has an impact/influence on the attitude of the BAS program at MUU.
4. To identify whether students with higher GPA’s have different attitudes towards the BAS program at MUU
when compared to students with lower GPA’s.
The study hopes to discover if a correlation exists with students GPA and their attitude towards the BAS
program at MUU. For instance the data collected will be analyzed to uncover whether students with higher
GPA (such as B and higher) rate the BAS program (in terms of variables described above such curriculum,
support services, teaching faculty and external reputation) better/higher than those students with a GPA of C+
or lower. This data will allow the SAS to decipher whether the attitudes towards the BAS program truly are
reflected by students’ academic success at MUU regardless of theirmajor/stream, or the attitudes towards the
program is a general consensus of the student population independent of the GPA.
Hypothesis:A correlation between GPA and attitude towards the BAS program does exist. Students with higher
GPA’s (B and above) rate the BAS program at MUU higher compared to students with lower GPA’s in terms of
the variables mentioned above.
DISCUSSING DATA REQUIREMENTS
The research objectives have to be addressed within the questions developed for the questionnaire. The data
requires that six topics be presented for the participant to provide insights that the SAS can evaluate. These topics
include the current curriculum, teaching staff, support services and external reputation of the BAS program at MUU.
Furthermore, the questionnaire needs to also record the participants major/honors stream and the GPA to discover
any correlation or lack of a correlation between participants academics (major/honor stream and/or GPA) and their
attitudes towards the BAS program at MUU through their feedback for the four variables mentioned above
(curriculum, teaching staff, support staff and external reputation).
The following data are required for each of the six research study objectives to be covered within the questionnaire:
- Does the current curriculum offers a broad range of courses for students?
- Do the students feel that the courses offered in the current curriculum are relevant to their stream of study?
- Does the course outline accurate describe the course material taught in class?
- The University requires students to complete certain core credits regardless of the major/ honor stream. Do
students feel these courses bring value to their degree?
- Do the students feel that the courses being offered by the BAS program will be useful to students in
preparing them for their careers ahead?
- What do students rate the quality of the curriculum of BAS program at MUU?
2. Teaching Staff
- Do the students feel that the teaching staffs in the BAS programs are truly engaged in the courses they
- Are the professor training students to be career ready? Do students feel that the courses taught by professor
pertain to real life work place scenarios?
- Do the professor accurately describe the courses on the course outline?
- Do students feel that the professor effectively cover topics designated for each class?
- What do students rate the quality of the teaching staff in the BAS program at MUU?
3. Support Services
- Is the SAS website informative? Do students find most of their queries answered by browsing through the
- Are the SAS reception staff friendly and approachable?
- Do the students find it easy to reach the SAS staff through the phone?
- When the SAS staff commit to completing a query within a time frame, is the query answered within the
promised time frame (i.e. are they efficient)?
- Do the students feel that the SAS staffs genuinely care about their concerns? Does the SAS staff provide
students with recommendations to solve their concerns?
- What do students rate the quality of the SAS support services of BAS program at MUU?
4. External Reputation
- How the students’ at MUU rank their BAS program in comparison to other BAS programs offered by the four
universities in the province?
- How well does MUUs’ BAS program rank compare to other three other BAS programs in the province? Is the
BAS program at MUU two times (or three, four times, etc.) better than the next leading university’s BAS
program or the next leading university’s BAS program is twice (or thrice, etc.) as better than the BAS program
- When the students rank a certain BAS program as the best in the province, what makes that BAS program
superior to other BAS programs offered by the universities in the province?
- What do students rate the external reputation of the BAS program at MUU?
5. Major/ Honors Stream
- What is the participating students’ current enrolled major/honor stream in the BAS program at MUU?
- What is the participating students most accurate current GPA?
SURVEY METHOD AND SAMPLE FRAME
Method of Administration – Web based Cross sectional survey. Apart from the obvious benefits of cost reduction and
time saving, participants would feel more comfortable providing sensitive opinion based answers over the internet,
which otherwise would make the respondent feel hesitant if the same questions were to be asked through one to one
or phone interviews. Secondly, it’s the most effective way to reach target student population who use the web daily
for personal, work and school related tasks. The web provides the flexibility for students to answer the questionnaires
sent to their emails on their laptops, desktops or smartphones, significantly increasing the target population reach
and ultimately increasing response rates. Each student enrolled in the BAS program at MUU has a contact profile. The
SAS manages this profile which holds the student academic (student number, major/stream, credits completed, etc.)
as well as contact details (mailing address, phone number, email, etc.). From time to time the SAS broadcasts mass
service emails to all students enrolled in the BAS programs to the email address captured in the student profile. In the
same manner the SAS can mass broadcast students to participate in the questionnaire. The email will contain a cover
letter (Appendix 1) informing students the purpose of the survey, the time required to complete the questionnaire,
the length of days available to participate in the survey and the external link to direct the students to the
questionnaire if they wish to participate. The wording and presentation of the cover letter has to be developed
sensitively. Not only is the cover letter the only point of contact to students but the presentation of the cover letter
will determine the student’s participation in the questionnaire. Furthermore, the cover letter should entice comfort
by informing students that participation is voluntary, the participant will be kept anonymous and all data captured
will remain confidential. The cover letter should also convey that the purpose of the research is to ultimately benefit
the students themselves, creating a feeling of empowerment for the student completing the questionnaire.
Various third party companies offer survey services specifically geared towards universities. Such third party
companies administer, tabulate and analyze data for the university to evaluate the results of the questionnaire. The
third party survey companies have expertise in uncovering correlation and patterns often extremely valuable and
complementary to the research objectives of the questionnaire. Often the administrating third party company
consults with the university and helps develop the questionnaire with the wording, question sequence, format and
layout of the questionnaire. The questionnaire designed for this study will be administered by a fictional third party
(Kamora Marketing Inc.) who will report to the SAS the findings of the study.
Hence, the flow of administrating the questionnaire is as follows:
1. The cover letter is broadcasted by SAS to all students enrolled in the BAS program
2. The students who wish to participate in the questionnaire flow the external link which will direct them to the
questionnaire. The questionnaire link remains active for the time specified in the cover letter.
3. The external link presents the participant with the questionnaire to be completed
4. The participants feedback is captured, tabulated and analyzed
5. The research study report is presented to the SAS for evaluation
Sample Frame – SAS records indicated that currently 10,000 students are actively enrolled in the BAS program at
MUU. Hence, the sample frame of the target population is 10,000 as well. According to the various research studies
the average response rate for email/online surveys is 30%1
. Some reasons why the response rate average around 25-
30% may occur for the following reasons:
Students do not receive questionnaire request because the email address on file is no longer active or entered
incorrectly in the student profile
Students do not wish to participate regardless of anonymity or confidentiality commitments
Students do not respond to the cover letter within the participating time allotted for the questionnaire (for
example 60 days)
Students delete the participation email without reading
The research study accordingly agrees on a conservative 20% response rate for the research study questionnaire. The
rationale being that 20% or 2000 completed surveys would provide the suitable sample frame to represent the voice
of students in the BAS program at MUU. The questionnaire intends to capture approximately equal number of
surveys completed by students pursuing a BAS degree in various major/streams such as Marketing, Finance,
Accounting, Human Resources, Management, Business Research and student who have yet to decide on a
major/honor stream. Therefore, research study further concludes that if 100 students from each major/honor stream
were to participate in the questionnaire (approximately 800 questionnaires); the results would be sufficient to
generalize the findings as the collective students prospective of the current quality of education of BAS programs at
MUU. The more questionnaires completed beyond the hypothesized response would additionally support the
DEVELOPING THE QUESTIONNAIRE
For the research study to be successful and the research objectives to be meet, the questionnaire has to designed and
developed carefully by avoiding conditions that may cause data to be biased or skewed. Type of questions to avoid
on the survey:
1. Unanswerable – either because the respondent does not have access to the information needed or because
none of the answers choices apply to the respondent.
2. Leading or loaded – in that the respondent is directed to a response that would not originally be given if all
possible response categories or concepts were provided.
3. Double barreled – to ask the respondent to address more than one issue at a time.*
Basic questionnaire design guidelines also have to be adhered. For example, sensitive questions such as GPA are likely
to be responded incorrectly by respondents. Guidelines for asking sensitive questions start with not asking them
unless they are required to achieve the research objectives. If they are necessary (which is essential for this research
study), assure the respondent their answers will be kept completely confidential. Any sensitive or more difficult
questions should be placed later in the questionnaire after the respondent becomes engaged in the process of
answering questions.The questions and scales must be presented in a logical order. Questions should be asked in a
natural general-to-specific order to reduce the potential for sequence bias.*
Each question in the questionnaire has been developed with the intent to capture meaningful data to satisfy the
research objectives. The questionnaire initially is designed with 10 questions. Based on the pretest evaluation
additional questions may be introduced or present questions may be modified according to the feedback. The
questions to be developed for the questionnaire are all planned to be highly structured and mutually exclusive.
Structured questions are close ended questions that require the respondent to choose from a predetermined set of
responses or scale points. Structure formats reduce the amount of thinking and effort required by the respondent,
the response process is faster, easier for respondent to fill out and easier for researchers to code.* The questionnaire
will benefit from close ended questions because the data capture can be easily tabulated and analyzed.
Furthermore, the questions designed for the research study will encompass one of the following measurement scales:
Nominal scaleis the type of scale in which the questions require respondents to provide only some type of
descriptor as the raw response. *
Ordinal scaleis the scale that allows a respondent to express relative magnitude between the answers to a
Interval scaleis a scale that demonstrates absolute difference between each scale point.* For all interval
questions in the questionnaire the scale measurement will be set to a balanced and non-forced 5-point
interval scale, with the end points tailored to the question.
Ratio scaleis the scale that allows researchers not only to identify the absolute differences between each scale
point but also to make comparisons between the responses.* For all the ratio scale based questions in the
questionnaire a comparative rating scale will be used. According to the nature of the questions Rank-order or
constant sumscale will be utilized for appropriate data capture from the questionnaire.
To realize the research objectives and fulfill the data requirements for the study, six specific variables have to be
addressed; curriculum, teaching staff, support services, external reputation, major/honor stream and GPA.
For each of these variables the questionnaire will specifically develop set questions to capture the appropriate
required for testing the hypothesis. The questionnaire would begin with the introductory section which would state:
“This questionnaire is conducted by Kamora Marketing Inc. on behalf of the School of Administrative Studies (SAS). The
study is conducted to understand the views of current students with respect to the academic quality of the Bachelors
or Administrative Studies Program (BAS) at Manchester United University. The information provided within this
questionnaire is strictly confidential and the respondent will always remain anonymous. The questionnaire should take
approximately 10-15 minutes to complete. The material collected will be analyzed and presented to the SAS to
consider the evaluation of the BAS program.” This introductory or disclaimer section will cover all the basic
information and instructions about the questionnaire to the participating student. The introduction reiterates the
purpose, anonymity and confidentiality of the study to make the participant comfortable.
The following questions were developed to be contents of the questionnaire for this research study (in sequence):
1. Please rank the following list to identify the most important characteristic for students pursuing a degree in
BAS program at Manchester United University. For example the most important characteristic in the list
provided should be ranked 1, followed by 2 for the second most important characteristic and so on.
The four options provided will be: Curriculum, Teaching Faculty, Support Services and Reputation of the BAS
program.This question utilizes the ordinaland rank-orderscale measurement and is structured. The ranking of
the four variables are mutually exclusive so each of the four variables will be assigned a unique rank by the
responding student. The intent of this question to capture the most important component of the BAS program
through the students prospective. Once the study has concluded and if any improvement were to be made the
SAS can focus on the component that most important to students enrolled in the BAS programs at MUU
among the four variables; curriculum, teaching staff, support services and external reputation.
2. Please rate the following characteristics that best represents the quality of the BAS program at Manchester
The four characteristics provided for this question are once again:Curriculum, Teaching Faculty, Support
Services and Reputation of the BAS program. This is question is developed as highly structured and mutually
exclusive and designed using the interval scale with the range of end points between Excellent and Poor. The
four characteristics form the components of a successful BAS program and hence, are the determinants of the
quality of the BAS program. This question has been designed directly to measure the quality of the BAS
program at MUU by asking the participating students to rate these four components. This question has been
developed to uncover the data required to satisfy research objective #1.
3. Curriculum is the set of courses the university designates for each degree program. The following questions
are designed to measure your overall satisfaction or dissatisfaction with your BAS major/honors stream
Questions number 3, 4 and 5 were designed and developed to assess the quality of the education and learning
experience at MUU. Each question is intended to address of the key component that may influence the
attitude of the students regarding the BAS program at MUU. Question 3 has been specifically developed to
evaluate the quality of the curriculum taught in the BAS program under the following five criterions:
- My major/honors stream offers broad range of courses
- I feel the courses offered are relevant to my major/honors stream
- The course outlines accurately describe the courses material
- I feel the core credits that are pre-assigned by the university bring value to my degree
- I feel the courses offered in my major/stream will be useful to my career in the future
This highly structured question is developed using a 5-point balanced interval scale measurement. The end
points are categorized as Satisfied and Dissatisfied. This question provides insight into the required data to
discover the reality of the quality of curriculum of the BAS program through the prospective of the students
who experience it, the purpose of research objective #1. This provides valuable information for SAS to
maintain, improve or modify the curriculum taught accordingly.
4. Professors shape and often revolutionize intellect for students. The following questions have been designed
to measure your overall satisfaction or dissatisfaction with the teaching staff.
To collect data for research objective #1 and to satisfy data requirements, the following criterions were
developed to evaluate the quality of the teaching faculty/staff in the BAS programs at MUU.
- Professors properly describe the course on the course outline
- Professors teach material that pertain to real life workplace scenarios
- Professors are truly engaged in what teach
- When I leave my class I feel my professor thoroughly covered the topics of the day
- My Professors are training me to be career ready
This highly structured question incorporates the interval scale measurement to record the respondent’s
perspective on the quality, efficiency and effectiveness of the teaching staff in the BAS programs. The
respondent can rate the quality of the teaching staff by a 5-point interval scale where the end points range
from Satisfied to Dissatisfied. This data will provide SAS the opportunity to review and provide feedback on
the impact of the teaching staff on the students learning experience in the BAS program.
5. Support Services are essential part of the university experience for students. For the following questions
please rate the quality of service who have experienced while utilizing the specialized BAS support services
available to students through the SAS.
Similar to Questions 3 & 4, question 5 was developed for the support services being a critical variable to
measure the quality of education the BAS program provides. Support services often are the nerve system of
information and sustenance for students dealing with academic situations. These interactions often develop
into attitudes for students. Hence, to capture required data and provide meaningful information for research
objectives #1, the quality of support services is to be evaluated by students in the following criterions:
- The SAS website is very informative and I usually find all my answers in the website
- The SAS staff are friendly and approachable
- The SAS staff are readily available to answer any queries on the phone
- The SAS staff answer all the queries within the promised time frame
- The SAS staff understand and provide recommendations to my concerns
This structured question is also developed using a balanced 5-point interval scale measurement with the end
points ranging from Satisfied to Dissatisfied. This question through its criterions intends to satisfy the data
requirements and provide the SAS will data to evaluate the current quality of service provided by the SAS
support staff. This variable is one of the easier components for SAS to improve or modify as the components
of support services can be simply enhanced by either improving point of contacts (website, hiring additional
receptionists, etc.) or training the SAS support staff to be performing beyond expected levels.
6. Please rank in the following Province of Langkawi universities in terms of reputation of their respective BAS
programs. The university you feel has the best reputation for their BAS program please rank the university
1, followed by 2 for the next best and so on.
The four options presented in the questionnaire areBachelors of Business Administration Studies, Manchester
United University; Bachelors of Commerce, Real Madrid University; Bachelors of Business Administration,
University of Barcelona and Bachelors of Business Administration, Bayern Munich University. This question
developed as structured and mutually exclusive, will utilize the ordinaland rank-orderscale measurement. This
question will identify the BAS programs at MUU’s position and external reputation in comparison to the other
BAS programs being offered by the provincial universities listed within the options. This question will help rate
the external reputation of MUU’s BAS program through the prospective of current students and hence,
capture required data for research objective #2. Because the answers are mutually exclusive each university
can only be assigned a unique rank.
7. You are assigned a total of 100 points. Please write the value next to the province of Langkawi universities
mentioned below to indicate your opinion of the university's BAS program overall reputation in comparison
to each other. The larger the points awarded to a university the greater the universities BAS program
reputation in comparison to the others.
The four universities to be listed for this question are Manchester United University, Real Madrid University,
University of Barcelona and Bayern Munich University. This question is structured and designed to extended
Question 6 and by using ratioand constant sumscale measurement. This question will provide insight to
research objective #2 by reporting not only the rank but classifying how the BAS program at MUU in absolute
terms stacks against the business programs offered by the listed provincial universities. For instance if MUU’s
BAS program was ranked #1 in Question 6, the student can then express that the BAS program is two (three,
four, etc.) times better than the second best provincial university business program in the list or vice versa.
8. Please state your gender.
The obvious options are male or female. This question will be designed to be structured/close ended question
using nominalscale measurement. The intent of this question is to discover if gender has any significant
influence over attitude towards the BAS program. The potential to uncover insights beyond the requirements
of the research objectives.
9. What is your Major/Honors stream under the Bachelor of Administrative Study (BAS) Degree Program?
The following list of options would be presented: Marketing, Accounting, Finance, Business Research,
Management, Human Resources, Yet to decide a major and completing the BAS degree without a
major/honors stream. This question is to be articulated using nominal scale measurement and is intended to
be structured and mutually exclusive. The participant will be allowed to choose only one answer from the
options provide. This question although simple, is employed to capture important data to assess research
objective #3. The data captured here will allow the researchers to analyze if in fact students major/honor
stream influences their attitudes towards the BAS program at MUU.
10. Please estimate and choose one of the following options that best represent your most recent GPA.
The following options will be presented 9 or higher or A+, 8 to 8.9 or A, 7.5 to 7.9 or B+, 7.0 to 7.4 or B, 6.5 to
6.9 or C+, 6.0 to 6.4 or C, 5.9 to 5.5 or D+, 5.4 and 5.0 D and 4.9 & Below or E/F. This question similar to
question 9 and is developed using nominal scale measurement, designed to be structured and mutually
exclusive. The participant is limited to choosing one answer and the GPA data captured will be used to assess
research objective #4. The data collected through this question will allow research to determine if the
students’ GPA influences their attitudes towards the BAS program at MUU.
Another important issue to consider during the development of the questionnaire is the case of Response order bias.
Response order bias occurs when the order of the questions or of the close ended responses to a particular question
influences the answer given. Answers that appear at the beginning or the end of the list tend to be selected most
often*. Because the questionnaire is an online survey randomizing the order of list of response can eliminate the
response order bias. The questionnaire will end with a page designed to thank students for their time and feedback.
(Please refer to Appendix 2 for the pretest questionnaire)
PRETEST AND REVISION OF THE QUESTIONNAIRE
(Please refer to Appendix 1 for the Cover Letter and Appendix 2 for the Pretest copy of the questionnaire to be used for
evaluation)The pretest questionnaire (Appendix 2) was presented for evaluation to two MUU students enrolled in the
BAS program. One student pursuing the BAS degree in the Marketing stream and the other enrolled in the Accounting
stream. Both students also received a sample of the email cover letter requesting questionnaire participation
(Appendix 1). The students were asked to provide their genuine opinion about the format, wording, length,
instructions, phrases and question sequence of the questionnaire. They were asked to point out anything on the
questionnaire that seemed difficult to understand, follow or left them confused. The students were asked to evaluate
the layout of the questionnaire and report back if they felt any signs of boredom or monotonous feel to the
questionnaire. The design of the questionnaire was created to keep the participant engaged for 10-15mins, the
students evaluation will help determine if the design was in fact successful in keeping their attention for the time
allotted to complete the questionnaire. The students were asked to assess the wording, structure and message of the
email cover letter as well. Their feedback would be crucial in determining if the cover letter and the questionnaire
would appeal to the students and draw in a higher response rate for the completion of the survey. Pretesting the
questionnaire will help to determine certain important factors. For instance the time it will take to complete the
questionnaire, how effective and clear the instructions are for the participants, whether any questions have to be
added or wording of existing questions have to be modified, if any modificationsto be made in the questionnaire how
would that impact the cover letter to be broadcasted and if any modifications were to be in thecover letter in itself.
Both the students completed the questionnaire simultaneously in separate rooms and had no contact with each other
during the evaluation of the questionnaire and cover letter.
The following feedback was reported once the students completed the questionnaire:
The students on an average took 7 minutes to complete the questionnaire.
Both students did not understand the purpose of the questionnaire asking the participant for their gender.
They felt Question 8 – Gender question (Appendix 2) was unnecessary.
They enjoyed the fact that the questionnaire had several format of questions such as matrix of choices,
ranking and weighted ratio questions. The variety of question format kept them engaged.
The students pointed out that the questionnaire did not have a section where they could voice concerns or
provide recommendations. They felt an open ended question could provide the participant the room to
express opinions that may have not been directed by the questionnaire. Feedback that could surface concerns
other than the ones tabulated by the research study.
The instructions were clearly stated both in the cover letter and reiterated in the questionnaire. The students
appreciated this initiative. The students felt comfortable that the purpose of the questionnaire was made
clear, confidentially and anonymity was emphasized.
The students liked how each topic of the questionnaire was divided into separate pages.
The questions were clear and concise, they felt the questions asked were very relevant and touched upon
important aspects of the learning experience at MUU.
Regarding the Cover Letter the students commented:
The cover letter was standard and made sure all details were incorporated. Appreciated the fact that
details such as “participation is voluntary”, “confidentiality and anonymity” and the purpose of the survey
were clearly stated.The Cover letter did not need any “tuning” up.
The students’feedbacks were taken into consideration. The cover letter remained unmodified and a new revised
questionnaire was developed. The following additions/modifications were incorporated into the questionnaire.
The research team agreed that open ended questions were essential for the study to uncover any facts that
are not included in the questionnaire. Including a concern and recommendation unstructured question for
each of the four objective variables: curriculum, teaching staff, support services and external reputation would
help the study discover topics that are impacting the BAS program at MUU.
By adding the open ended questions to the questionnaire, the average estimated time to complete would now
improve to 12-15 minutes in comparison to 7 minutes during pretesting. Hence, no time modifications would
have to be made in either the cover letter or the questionnaire.
It was determined finding that research objectives did not include any requirements to find correlation for
gender and attitude towards the BAS program. Since the question did not satisfy any research objectives, it
was decided that the gender question would not be included in the final questionnaire.
The revised questionnaire is attached within Appendix 3 and the details of the format and layout of the final
revised questionnaire is discussed the following section.
FINAL QUESTIONNAIRE FORMAT AND LAYOUT
(Please refer to Appendix 3 for the final revised copy of the questionnaire to be used and presented to students.)
After taking into consideration of the pretest findings, the final questionnaire is set with 16 questions that have been
designed to capture data to realize the research objectives. The survey commences with a disclaimer, informing the
participant about the purpose of, the commissioning authority and the administrating third party of the
questionnaire. This brief paragraph informs the participant of anonymity, confidentiality and the approximate time it
will take to complete the survey.
The first two questions are based on students’ perception of the most important characteristic of pursuing a degree
at MUU, followed by question to capture the students’ interpretation of the overall quality of the assigned
characteristics associated with the BAS program. These questions inform students on the topic of questions to follow
within the questionnaire. Question 1 is a ranking question and question 2 is matrix of choice, single answer question
which follows the lead and ties into Question 1. Question 2 provokes the participant to assign the four variables in
terms of quality ranging from poor to excellent.
Questions 3, 4 and 5 are associated with the curriculum currently taught at the BAS program at MUU. Question 3 is a
five part close ended question designed to measure the quality of curriculum, where the student can express their
satisfaction or dissatisfaction to pre-assigned statements that were designed to discover the effectiveness of the
academics of the BAS program. Questions 4 and 5 are open ended which intends to provoke and capture thoughts of
students regarding any concerns or any recommendations the student may have regarding the current curriculum
taught at the BAS program at MUU.
Questions 6, 7 and 8 are associated with the teaching faculty in the BAS program at MUU. Question 6 follows similar
format as question 3, designed as a five part close ended question. This question presents students’ with pre-assigned
statements that reflect the teaching staffs’ efficiency and engagement. The difference between question 3 and 6 is
that question 3 is express through satisfaction levels and question 6 through agreement or disagreement. Questions 7
and 8 are once again open ended questions that encourage the students to express any concerns or provide
recommendations for the teaching faculty at the BAS program.
Questions 9, 10 and 11 also follow the same format. Question 9 encompasses a five part close ended probing the
participant to express their opinions regarding the efficiency and effectiveness of the support services available to
students specifically enrolled in the BAS program at MUU. Students are to select whether they agree or disagree with
the pre-assigned statements regarding the support services presented to them. Questions 10 and 11 are once again
open ended questions intended to gain insights into any concerns or any recommendations to improve support
services at SAS.
Questions 12, 13 and 14 are designed to discover the students’ opinion of MUU’s BAS programs externalreputation in
direct comparison to the other universities in the immediate province. Question 12 probes the student to rank in
order the universities BAS programs in the province. The student ranks the four BAS programs among the list
provided. Question 13 follows lead of the previous question and provokes the student to distribute 100 marks among
the four universities BAS programs. This question is intended to capture the ratio by which the universities differ to
each other through the students prospective. Finally, question 14 empowers the student to express their marks
distribution and what sets apart the university they rated the highest. These 14 questions conclude capturing the
opinions of the participant; remaining two questions are implemented to capture the demographics of the
Sensitive but important questions such as the students major/stream and their current GPA are kept till the very end
as questions number 15 and 16. These two questions are vital to for the study to find any correlation between the
two variables GPA and Major/Stream with attitudes towards the BAS program individually.
The last page display the thank you message to the student, appreciating their time and feedback on behalf of all the
parties involved with the commission and administration of the questionnaire.
The design and layout of the questionnaire incorporated the following features which were discussed as essential
components in the development section of the questionnaire to capture purposeful and insightful data:
The 16 questions in the questionnaire we divided into 6 pages and a seventh page was added as the “Thank
you” page. The seven pages we divided as follows:
PAGE 1 PAGE 2 PAGE 3 PAGE 4 PAGE 5 PAGE 6 PAGE 7
4 & 5
7 & 8
10 & 11
13 & 14
Each question on the page must be answered before the participant can proceed to the following page.
Once the questions on the page are answered the participant can use the next button to visit the following
Each preceding page (after page one) has a previous button which enables the student to visit the previous
page to review or modify any data they have input.
Each page has been designed with a mix of open ended, closed ended, ranking, multiple choice and weighted
question to keep the participant engaged and to help avoid a monotonous feel to the questionnaire.
The aesthetics of the questionnaire were carefully selected to provide a warm and engaging feel. To
emphasize that the information collected will be analyzed by a third party, the questionnaire was designed in
a blue background to contrast with the obvious difference from MUU official colors of red and black. The font
size was kept standard at 12 and the questions were highlighted with bold font fordifferentiation.
The limit for the open ended questions 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11 & 14 is set to 500 characters. A warning message is set
to remind the participant if the character exceeds the specified limit.
The weighted question, Question 13 where the participant has to distribute 100 points within the four
universities, an error message will show if the total points exceed 100.
Matrix of Choice Questions 2, 3, 6 & 9 and Multiple Choice Questions 15 & 16 will accept only one answer per
Ranking Questions 1 & 12 will only one rank per choice on the list. For example only one out of the four
options can be ranked 1, 2, 3 or 4. If more than one option is ranked identically, i.e. Option 1 is ranked 1 and
option 2 is also ranked 1, and error message will be display for the participant to make corrections.
ADDRESSING RESEARCH OBJECTIVES
The final revised questionnaire encompasses to its best of ability, all the research objectives and data requirements
set as the standard of this research study. The research objectives spread out within the 16 questionsaims to
tabulate, analyze and decipher any correlation or pattern within the variables as hypothesized.
The questions formulated for the questionnaire were directly articulated from the data requirements for the research
objectives. This strategy complemented the requirements to find insights into the quality of the BAS degree through
the prospective of the students pursuing it. The approach to isolate and probe into four key variables: curriculum,
teaching staff, support services and external reputation will help SAS evaluate the current quality of the BAS degree at
MUU. This will help the university maintain, improve or modify components of the BAS program to benefit not only
the current students’ future career potential and also aid to the positively conditioning MUU reputation as a leading
business school in the province. Furthermore, discovering insights and correlating with the participants major/honor
stream and/or GPA will allow the university to focus if an allocation of resources is necessary to help students with
lower GPA’s or collection of students who find a particular major/honor stream more difficult than other streams.
This in turn will bring confidence to students in SAS’s support services and in return boast MUU reputation in the
minds of the students.
Research Objective 1:To collect data that would analyze and present a true indication of student’s attitudes
regarding the quality of the BAS program at MUU
This objective has been directly addressed through multiple questions in the questionnaire. Students have been asked
to rate the quality of key influencing factors of the BAS program: Curriculum, teaching staff, support services and
external reputation. The questionnaire further probes the participant to provide details of these key variables by
asking specific questions relating to each of the four variables mentioned above. The questionnaires empowers
student participant to express any concerns that the questionnaire may not have mentioned but the participant feels
is important to be brought to attention. The questionnaire also welcomes suggestions to improve the current quality
of the BAS program of MUU. Hence, the questionnaire in the best of its ability incorporates 13 out of 16 questions to
collect data about students’ attitudes regarding the BAS program at MUU through both open and close ended
Research Objective 2:To identify the BAS program’s external reputation in comparison to other BAS programs in
prominent universities located in the immediate province.
Questions 12, 13 and 14 were specifically developed to address this objective. The questionnaire probes the
participant to not only rank BAS program at MUU but the ratio of how well its ranks to its BAS degrees to competing
universities in the province. The students are also asked to inform the questionnaire which university ranks the best
in their opinion; this presents the SAS with valuable input into students prospective of what key factors constitute to
the success of a university’s’ business program. The analysis of the data collected through the questionnaire should
help SAS evaluate the current reputation of MUUs’ BAS program through the assessment provide by its own students.
Research Objective 3:To identify whether students major/stream in the BAS programs has an impact on their
attitude towards the BAS program at MUU
Question 15 was developed to capture the participating students major/honor stream. The data collection will be
tabulated and analyzed with questions 1 through 14 to identify if any correlation exists between major/honor stream
and the attitude towards the BAS program at MUU. Data collected through Questions 1-14 in the question will be
complied and attached to the major/honor stream provided by the participating students and the results of that
specific questionnaire will be analyzed and compared to the data collected in other questionnaire with the same
major/honor stream. This will help the study to identify:
if in fact the students completing the questionnaire from the same major/honor stream (e.g. Marketing) have
the similar or conflicting views regarding the BAS program at MUU and;
if the collection of data captured from students in one major/honor stream (e.g. Marketing) have different
attitudes towards the BAS programs when compared to the data collected from students in other
major/honor stream (e.g. Accounting) .
Research Objective 4:To identify whether students with higher GPA’s have different attitudes towards the BAS
program at MUU when compared to students with lower GPA’s.
Question number 16 was designed with the intent to capture the students current GPA. As with the previous
objective, the strategy once again is to analyze the data collected from students who marked a high GPA (B or above)
with the data collected from participating students with a C+ average or below and cypher any correlation in attitudes
towards the BAS program. Provided students are honest when entering the GPA, the data collected from Questions 1-
14 can be analyzed and SAS can evaluate if additional support is required to students to assist in areas that the
students feel the BAS program is posing difficulty; curriculum, teaching staff or support services.
APPENDIX 1: EMAIL COVER LETTER REQUESTING QUESTIONNAIRE PARTICIPATION
The School of Administrative Studies (SAS) is conducting a questionnaire to improve the quality of the BAS degree
program.We are asking students to complete a questionnaire (designed and administered by a third party)regarding
their thoughts about the current state of the BAS program at MUU. Participation of the study is voluntary.
Participants can withdraw from the study at any time. The questionnaire is completely anonymous and all feedback is
kept confidential. All data collected through the questionnaire will be discarded once the project has been completed.
The questionnaire will take approximately 10-15 minutes to complete. Please click the link below to proceed to the
questionnaire. The link will remain active for 60 days as of July 16, 2013.
Thank you in advance for taking the time to complete the questionnaire, as any implementations concurred through
findings of the questionnaire it will benefit all students who are part of the BAS program, both presently and for
prospective students in the future.
School of Administrative Studies, Manchester United University.