Survey Template to Measure Knowledge

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Survey Template to Measure Knowledge

Key Takeaways

  • Understanding the level of people's knowledge for a specific category - renewable energy systems, in this case - can be determined using knowledge, attitude, and practice (KAP) survey.
  • Steps to conducting a great KAP survey include determining the target population, preparing the question and answer, and scoring and validating results.
  • Multichoice questions, rating scale questions, likert scale questions, matrix questions, dropdown questions, and open-ended questions are some examples of formats survey questions and answers can be presented.

Introduction

In this report, we have provided a detailed guide to building a survey template for determining the level of people's knowledge of renewable energy systems. We have also provided a link to an example of a relatable template that could be used to design a great survey.

A Guide to Building a Survey Template for Determining the Level of People's Knowledge of Renewable Energy Systems

  • A survey that determines the knowledge, attitude, and practice (KAP) of an audience on a particular category is called a KAP survey.
  • A "KAP survey is meant to be a representative survey of a target population; it aims to elicit what is known (knowledge), believed (attitude), and done (practiced) in the context of the topic of interest. Information is collected using semistructured or (more usually) structured questionnaires that are self-administered or administered by interviewers; both qualitative and quantitative data may be collected." It is easy to design, conduct, analyze, and interpret.
  • SAGE Journals published a practical guide on designing and conducting KAP surveys. While this publication was centered on a survey in psychiatry, we have extracted key points from this guide that could be used for the same purpose for renewable energy systems.
  • Below is a breakdown of the guide to designing a great KAP survey.

1. Selecting the Target Audience
  • Having had a survey topic, renewable energy systems, the next step for conducting a KAP study is determining the target population for the survey.
  • It is important that the target population is specifically defined as they are key stakeholders in the process of determining the level of people's knowledge of renewable energy systems. However, "the target population for a KAP survey selects itself because it is the population in which the need exists. There is no purpose in surveying a population in which no need exists."
  • While it is expected that the target audience would have a varying level of knowledge about renewable energy systems, it is important that the survey is tailored to include the different groups.

2. Preparation of Survey Questions
  • The process of designing a survey question begins with defining the expected level of knowledge among the targeted audience.
  • For a better outcome, the surveyor must have experience and competence in the field, in this case, renewable energy systems.
  • Testing the knowledge about renewable energy systems should not only focus on facts about the topic but also "about possible myths and misconceptions related to the efficacy" of renewable energy systems.
  • Typeform has provided some best practices in crafting good survey questions as listed below:
    • Survey questions should be simple and specific.
    • Avoid leading questions
    • Each question should communicate a single idea.
    • Avoid excessively long surveys.
    • Show how much more questions are remaining.
    • Surveys are best if they are mobile-friendly
    • Split big ideas into multiple questions.
    • Use open-ended questions sparingly.

3. Preparation of Answer Options
  • On Preparing answer options, SAGE Journals submission is: "When offering options for answers, care must be taken to avoid offering too extensive a range of options. It would be absurd to require respondents to select from among “Very strongly disagree, Strongly disagree, Disagree, Don’t know, Agree, Strongly agree, and Very strongly disagree.” Why absurd? Because, respondents have to think longer about their choices and it, therefore, takes longer to complete the questionnaire; because it can be hard for a person to accurately differentiate between “strongly” and “very strongly”; and because, to the researcher who is analyzing the results, it wouldn’t really matter whether the answer is “Agree,” “Strongly agree,” or “Very strongly agree.” Such options for answers, at least for knowledge questions, also create difficulties in scoring, as will be discussed in a later section."
  • Avoid including questions that lead to answering by guesswork. Also, create an option for respondents to include an opinion that is not covered by the survey questions in the form of an open-ended question.
  • The answers to the selected questions could take any of the following formats listed below:
      • Multiple choice questions — allows a respondent to select one or more options from a list of provided answers.
      • Rating scale questions — the respondent selects an answer for a question from an option from any range (0 to 100, 1 to 10, etc.).
      • Likert scale questions — this is the “do you agree or disagree” question type used to gauge respondents’ opinions and feelings.
      • Matrix questions — used when asking a few questions in a row that have the same response options.
      • Dropdown questions — "an easy way to display a long list of multiple choice answers without overwhelming your respondents".
      • Open-ended questions — where a respondent is required to type their answer into a comment box.
      • Ranking questions — respondents arrange their answers in an order of preference.

4. Scoring and Validation of Results
  • Scoring of survey results for knowledge tests is usually simple compared to scoring for attitude and practice.
  • "When analyzing knowledge scores, if all items are approximately equal in difficulty, simple summation suffices to yield a total knowledge score. However, if some items are more difficult than others, then answering these items correctly should have greater value than answering the rest correctly; this is when more advanced statistical models, such as Rasch analysis, may need to be considered".
  • A KAP survey is best validated through the process of face and content validation after it is prepared.
  • Face validation is used to ascertain if the survey is likely to do what it is intended to do. While the content validation determines if the survey is free from unnecessary items and is properly designed and presented.
  • It is important that the survey is shared amongst experts to determine if it is satisfactory or unsatisfactory on a validation form.
  • After validation, the survey is then administered to a small number (e.g., 5–10) of volunteers in the target population.
  • This will help the surveyor to understand the problems that respondents could face in completing the questionnaire and to receive their suggestions. These ideas generated from the sampling can be incorporated into the final survey that would subsequently be used.

Example of Template

  • Survey Monkey provided a survey template that could be used to determine the level of awareness/knowledge for a particular category or product. The complete template can be accessed here. We have replaced the product category with renewable energy systems in the template to provide highlights of questions as extracted from the template as follows:
    • How familiar are you with renewable energy systems?
    • How would you describe your overall opinion of renewable energy systems?
    • When you think of renewable energy systems, what words/adjectives come to mind first?
    • Which of the following words describe renewable energy systems?
    • When you think of renewable energy systems, what brand comes to your mind?
    • How has your perception of renewable energy systems changed over the past 3 months?

Research Strategy

To provide a detailed guide to building a survey template for determining the level of people's knowledge of renewable energy systems, we have relied on expert suggestions, journals, best practices, or examples from pre-existing surveys from leading survey-creation platforms such as Survey Monkey, Typeform, and others.
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