EurekaFacts is presenting at the AAPOR 71st Annual Conference!

ID: 0715-000856
Title: Effectiveness of the Think-Aloud Method in Children of Different Age Groups
Presentation Format: Posters
Session Title: Poster Session #3
Session Date: May 14th, 2016
Session Time: 12:45 PM - 1:45 PM

Abstract:

This study evaluates the effectiveness of the think-aloud method used during cognitive interviewing for survey ?item testing with children. Research shows that young children typically find the think-aloud method to be difficult (Someren et al, 1994), however, it is unclear whether this difficulty stems from a lack of adequate verbalization skills, the general content of their thought process or difficulty related to concentrating on problem-solving. Importantly, there is little empirical research on the effectiveness of the think-aloud method across children of different age groups. This study examines the application of a think-aloud technique during testing of a computer-based assessment, across two different grades and age-groups: grade 4 (age 9-10) and grade 8 (age 14-15). We compared the effectiveness of the think-aloud method between the two grades by evaluating the verbal reports length, time of response, and the quality and the completeness of the student responses. We found that the think-aloud method does not vary in the quality of the verbal output obtained from children in the two age groups. Although some research suggests that young children typically find the think-aloud method to be difficult, this study shows that there is no difference in the effectiveness of the think-aloud method between students in Grade 4 and in Grade 8.