Monthly Archives: February 2016

Survey / Interview Validation Rubric for an Expert Panel


By Marilyn Simon and Jacquelyn White

Data collection using surveys and/or interviews is ubiquitous in doctoral research, but often these instruments are weakly validated, if at all.  Pretests of instruments are helpful, but usually consist of informal review by one or two supposed “experts”, and lack rigor and credibility. Data is often reported in generalities and, and thematic analysis is frequently vague and insubstantial.  Rarely are such instruments subjected to structured analysis and evaluation criteria.

Use of a validation rubric for surveys and interviews is an excellent strategy to overcome common weaknesses in surveys and interviews.  This Survey/Interview Validation Rubric developed by Marilyn Simon and Jacquelyn White is a useful tool in assessing the validity and credibility of an instrument and the data that results.


Rubric for Expert Validation of Survey or Interview
 by Jacquelyn White and Marilyn K. Simon, Ph.D



Using Tense Correctly in a Dissertation Study


By Marilyn Simon and Jim Goes

Tense is an important element of dissertation writing. Some of the most common writing problems we see as dissertation mentors relate to tense. Early proposal drafts are frequently riddled with tense errors. Confusion over the proper tense to use in particular situations, and the differences in tense usage between a dissertation proposal and the final dissertation, are both prone to confusion and with good reason–because the rules change depending on the context.

Our updated recipe, below, addresses this problem and provides guidance on how to use tense correctly.


Using Tense Correctly in a Dissertation Study