Developing Effective Instrumentation
Every meaningful affective instrument must begin with an exhaustive review of the relevant literature to enable the developer to determine specific constructs to study, and to create conceptual and operational definitions of the constructs. Bandura's theory and model of self-efficacy is a fine example as it uses the categories of performance, observational comparison, social feedback, and physiological states as vital tools to affective instrumentation.
Survey developers need to conduct focus groups after reviewing the relevant literature or conduct observations on their study population to obtain relevant insider information not found in the literature.
After conducting the focus groups, selecting a scaling technique is important to locate an individual's response on a bipolar evaluative dimension with respect to a given target object. It is also important to conduct a judgmental review of items to rate proposed statements or items by content experts.
The need to develop high-quality affective instrumentation is derived from the critical link between achievement and affect in literacy learning. Expectations, attitudes, beliefs and values possessed by an individual greatly play an important role in building and shaping the individual's engagement with literacy processes. The complex relationship between achievement and affect constantly makes it imperative for researchers and teachers to monitor affective dimensions of reading growth and for the relevant instrument providers to avail tools necessary. Affective literacy instruments have a wide range of research purposes which include in experimental research to yield primary and secondary dependent variables (scores), in descriptive research to serve the role of trait indicator (blocking variable), and in literacyresearch to inform instructional practice (such as ERAS, SARA, WAS, RSPS, WSPS and MRPs) for diagnostic purposes with individual children.
To develop affective literacy instruments, one must use the appropriate wording of items, enable ease of response, give clear directions, and estimate the appropriate length and order of instrument.