School self-evaluation instruments and cognitive validity: do items capture what they intend to?

Jerich Faddar, Jan Vanhoof, Sven De Maeyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

School self-evaluation (SSE) often makes use of questionnaires in order to sketch a picture of the school. How respondents cognitively process questionnaire items determines the validity of SSE results. Still, one readily assumes that respondents interpret and answer items as intended by the instrument developer (referred to as cognitive validity), but it remains unclear whether they do. This study tested an exemplary SSE instrument by focusing on the extent to which SSE results are cognitively valid, and on the extent to which differences in cognitive validity can be attributed to respondents and/or items. Cognitive interviews with 20 participants made respondents answering processes manifest. Results show that, overall, fewer than 50classified multilevel analyses indicate that various hierarchical levels, respondents and items, are significant in explaining differences in cognitive validity, but not for all stages of the answering process.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)608-628
Number of pages21
JournalSchool Effectiveness and School Improvement
Volume28
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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