This course is designed to familiarise participants with a powerful
and efficient method of testing survey questions called Cognitive
Interviewing. It will be delivered through a combination of taught
theory and practical sessions. This course will provide you with all the
information you will need to set up and run your own cognitive
interviewing projects. The course will include practical information on
how to implement the most popular methods in cognitive interviewing,
which are think-aloud, probing, and observation, as well as “hands-on”
sessions where participants will have the chance to practice these
By the end of the workshop, participants will:
- Understand what factors contribute to measurement error in
surveys, the advantages and disadvantages of different pretesting
methods and the theoretical background to cognitive interviewing;
- Be able to design cognitive interview protocols and sample frames, conduct interviews and analyse data collected;
The course covers:
- Why do we need to test survey questions?
- What methods can be used to test survey questions?
- What is cognitive interviewing and why is it useful?
- Designing cognitive interview protocols
- Conducting cognitive interviews
- Management and analysis of cognitive interview data and reporting the findings
Who will benefit?
You will find the course useful if:
- you wish to acquire a theoretical understanding of the role of
cognitive methods in the development and testing of survey instruments;
- you need to gain practical experience in cognitive interviewing techniques and analysis of the data;
- you need to plan a cognitive test for the first time;
- you commission or manage quantitative research in central or local
government, health or other applied policy sectors and need to learn
about pre-testing methods so you can incorporate this stage of
development into your work
No prior interviewing experience is necessary for this course,
although some prior exposure to questionnaire design will be beneficial.
Participants will achieve an awareness of the critical issues and
techniques in conducting a cognitive interview and will increase their
own ability to do cognitive interviewing.
Jo d’Ardenne is Research Director working within
NatCen’s Questionnaire Development and Testing (QDT) Hub. She is
co-author of the text book, ‘Cognitive Interviewing Practice.’ Jo
has experience conducting cognitive interviews with a wide-range of
audiences including: children and young people, professionals and people
who speak English as a second language. Jo has experience of conducting
eye-tracking research to assess how people navigate and locate
information on both paper and web-based forms.
Course fee payable to SRA.
This course contributes 6 hours to the MRS CPD programme