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Health E-Learning and Media Team
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5. Pilot Testing

Pilot testing is a more formal test than pre-testing involving the administration of the questionnaire in conditions that match those of your research study. It involves applying the study questionnaire to a number of eligible participants and analysing the data obtained to check several aspects of the research process. These include data collection feasibility, recruitment issues and data analysis. Pilot testing might also include collecting data to ascertain the reliability and validity of your questionnaire highlighted in the earlier sections.

For example; you could administer other valid questionnaires to compare how your new questionnaire performs in comparison. This is relevant for checking criterion/construct validity. You can also calculate the Cronbach alpha test from the pilot sample data to make sure your questionnaire is reliable. The nature of your pilot test depends on the resources you have such as time and budget and also on how well any research instruments you are going to use have been previously validated in similar circumstances. Pilot testing can be done on a sample of 30-100 participants depending on the original study sample you decide upon.

Two researchers working with a hand held device and discussing pilot testing

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