Developing an Online Anonymous Questionnaire to Study Resilience


This case study is based on an ongoing research project aimed at exploring resilience among university students. Previous research has highlighted the negative impact that the numerous demands and challenges of university can have on students’ resilience. However, these studies have focused on identifying the impact of one or two factors – ignoring complex interactions that may exist. The aim of our research was to explore resilience from the perspective of the student in order to identify some of these interactions.

Data was initially collected from undergraduate students studying psychology, from 2013 - 2015 and then again in 2021, as well as in 2021 and 2022 from postgraduate students studying management subjects. Data collection from the undergraduate students utilized an online questionnaire initially using Qualtrics as the platform and subsequently Jisc’s Online Surveys platform. Data collection from the postgraduate students utilized an online questionnaire using Qualtrics.

This case study focuses on the experience of collecting data from the management students and discusses how issues linked with interdisciplinarity, standardization, sensitivity of the topics, and data collection from students impacted the processes of ethics approval and data collection as well as the design of the questionnaire.

In doing so, the case study not only provides valuable insights to researchers aiming to collect data from students in an academic setting but also for anyone involved in business and management research projects exploring sensitive topics or personal experiences, targeting participants in a potential imbalanced power situation (e.g. employees), or conducting research across different cultures.

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