The employment of online questionnaires within user studies research in school libraries.


  • Andrew K Shenton
  • Andrew Johnson



research methods, online questionnaires, attitudes, high school, English, Microsoft SharePoint, hyperlink, electronic surveys


This paper considers the effectiveness of a research method based on online questionnaires and employed in a recent study of attitudes to books and school libraries among pupils in an English high school. The questionnaire was constructed in Microsoft SharePoint. ln an e-mail, the youngsters were asked to complete the questionnaire and were taken to it via a hyperlink. The research strategy ensured that, in theory at least, a wide range of pupils was reached. lt exploited their familiarity with electronic surveys and eliminated the problem of illegible handwriting often associated with paper questionnaires. Nevertheless, the response rate was poor and the quality of the data questionable despite several provisions for ensuring trustworthiness. The SharePoint system employed supported quantitative data analysis to a much greater extent than it did qualitative. The paper concludes by identifying other forms of electronic questionnaire that may be employed in schools that lack SharePoint software.

Author Biographies

Andrew K Shenton

Dr.Andrew K. Shenton is a former Lecturer in the Division of lnformation and Communication Studies at Northumbria University.

Andrew Johnson

Andrew Johnson is Network Manager at the school where the study described in this article took place.




Research Articles