VALIDATION OF A QUESTIONNAIRE TO ANALYSE THE DROP-OUT AND ENGAGEMENT ITINERARIES AMONGST VET STUDENTS: EXPERTS PANEL RESULTS
Instruments used in any research process are fundamental tools that should provide rigorous information; therefore, any data collection instrument must be valid and reliable to its purposes. In the implementation of the research project «Success and dropout pathways in vocational training educational system levels 1 and 2» we constructed a questionnaire aimed at identifying and defining the characteristics and profile of students enrolled in secondary Vocational Education and Training (VET) in Spain, and is one of the instruments of a longitudinal study aimed at describing the dropout and successful itineraries of students enrolled in this training. Content validity of the questionnaire was determined by testing experts as described by Polit & Hungler (2000), where 16 experts participated (6 of them with a professional background and 10 of them with academic background), who evaluated each of the questionnaire items according to two criteria: relevance: if the item assesses what is to evaluate; and pertinence: defined as the importance of the item for evaluation of the object of study.
The following scale was taken build to be responded by participating experts:
Relevance: 1 irrelevant, 2 not much relevant, 3 relevant, 4 very relevant
Pertinence: 1 not pertinent, 2 not much pertinent, 3 pertinent, 4. very pertinent
Based on Reschly & Christenson (2012), the concept of student engagement is understood as a conception that requires four dimensions of analysis: emotional, cognitive, behavioural, and academic. These were the dimensions analysed in the questionnaire that was validated by the experts. In this paper we present the validation of the emotional and academic student engagement dimensions. The emotional dimension was composed by two questions: EQ1 composed by 8 items measured by a Lickert Scale of 4 positions regarding the relationship of the students with their teachers and the school; EQ2 composed by 5 items measured by a Lickert Scale of 4 positions regarding the relationship of the students with their school peers. The academic dimension was composed by one question, AQ1 composed by 7 items measured by a Lickert Scale of 4 positions regarding students’ behaviour, attitude and academic expectations.
Results show that:
a) EQ1: the 8 items had evaluations of pertinence between 3,40 and 3,89 and regarding relevance had results between 3,47 and 3,87;
b) EQ2: the 5 items had evaluations of pertinence between 3,69 and 4,00 and regarding relevance had results between 3,53 and 3,87;
c) AQ1: the 7 items had evaluations of pertinence between 3,13 and 3,63 and regarding relevance had results between 3,25 and 3,87.
Results show a high consistence, regarding the relevance and pertinence, of the items that measure the dimensions analysed.
This paper is part of the activities of the project «Success and dropout pathways in vocational training educational system levels 1 and 2» (Reference EDU2013-42854-R), funded by the Directorate-General for Research of the Ministry of Science and Innovation of the Government of Spain.
 Polit DF., & Hungler, BP. (2000). Investigación científica en Ciencias de la Salud: principios y métodos. México: McGraw-Hill Interamericana.
 Reschly, A.L. & Christenson, L. (2012). Jingle, Jangle, and Conceptual Haziness: Evolution and Future Directions of the Engagement Construct. In Christentson, S.L.; Reschly, A. & Wylie, C. Handbook of Research on Student Engagement. NY: Springer.