Developing Frugal Aspect Research Instruments

Expanding on recent work developing frugal education aspects, I have also been developing and piloting research instruments for evaluating these frugal aspects within new and existing education designs. The instruments take the form of two surveys. One more generalised; comprised of nine statements that correspond to the nine frugal aspects, and one more detailed survey; comprised of twenty seven statements (four per aspect), designed to gain a more detailed insight into each aspect.

I have been piloting both instruments with educators using existing designs, including class activities, course designs, and game-based learning experiences. The results so far have been promising. Both instruments provide similar results overall, with the detailed instrument highlighting variances for some aspects thanks to the increased number of statements provided for each aspect, resulting in more granular insights. This was what I was hoping to see, which is encouraging.

Below are some example radar charts used to visualise the data collected:

Initially, the instruments were going to be measured on a 7-point Likert scale. However, due to the finer detail provided by an 11-point scale, and the fact that we have chosen to apply the larger scale across all playful, frugal, and competency aspects being evaluated within the ACES project, I chose an 11-point Likert scale. For future longitudinal studies, this larger scale will help identify finer variances that a 7-point scale might not capture.

Now that both instruments are working as planned, the aim is to roll out the generalised survey within case studies across the three partner countries of the ACES project as part of a unified research protocol that also contains generalised instruments for evaluating playful and competency aspects. The countries in question are Malaysia, Indonesia, and Vietnam. The more detailed survey will be used to take a deeper dive into selected activities, based on the results of the initial unified research surveys.

I’m excited to see results from the case studies, to see what insights we can gather from the activities taking place. This is a co-created project that also happens to be taking place across multiple countries facing a multitude of constraints due by the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefor, the research being undertaken is constantly evolving. The ever-changing situation on the ground and the lessons we are learning along to way will inform the next steps in our programme of research. So, what I learn through this first investigation will inform what comes next.

A big thank you to those who helped me pilot both surveys and for providing valuable feedback that I have taken into account to further refine my research instruments. 🙏