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Data Collection Methods

Highgate Wood School has recently opened a new canteen, despite growing popularity at first (60% of the students ate at the canteen), now less and less pupils are eating at the canteen- more people prefer to eat outside of school in the restaurants. I have been asked to find out why the canteen has grown unpopular as well as writing a short report outlining which data collection methods I will use and why as well as sampling methods and also what my sample size will be.

Firstly, I will be using a questionnaire to collect data which will be done by asking quick questions to students and noting their answers. I feel that a questionnaire would be the most appropriate way of collected data because it offers the direct view of students as opposed to other methods such as interviews and case studies as they are time consuming due to the amount of research needed and as well as wasting students’ time. As well as this, questionnaires have many advantages such as not being biased, being cheap, they can be posted, e-mailed or faxed and the respondent’s identity will remain anonymous. However, there are some disadvantages such as the design problems, there is no control over who completes it, and the respondent might read the questions beforehand and decide whether or not to complete them for issues such as complex questions, too long and uninteresting.

For the sampling method, I will be using the random sampling method because it offers every pupil and equal chance to take part in the questionnaire. However, because the school has a population of over 1400 school children I will have to pick about 25-50 schoolchildren to question. This is because it will take to long to question every single schoolchild, so I have decided to choose an appropriate number of schoolchildren; this will provide me with enough information and is also less time consuming.
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