Administering the Test with the Improved Test Instrument

Administering the Test with the Improved Test Instrument


The test instrument questions were meant to test law enforcement officer’s knowledge, opinion and attitude towards geographic policing. The test instrument was meant to be a self-filled and personally administered questionnaire that law enforcement officers were to fill. It was made up of two sections:section one entailed general information about the respondent while the second sections required information that was specific to the officer’s understanding and perception towards geographic policing. Section one compelled the responder to provide information such as gender,  age, racial background, assigned duty, classification, place of residence, marital status, employment status, major in college and GPA. These were general information that were meant to give the researcher general information about the respondent and in no way would they give any detail that would enable the identity of the participant to be recognized.Section two required information that was to be used to evaluate law enforcement personnel on their knowledge, opinion and perception of the impact and effect of geographic policing.

Participant selection

The construct to be measured was geographic policing. This construct is specific to the law enforcement profession; therefore, the test questions could only be applied to participants from this particular field. As such, the participants in this test instrument were conveniently selected from a pool of law enforcement officers from my local precinct, but the particular officers were selected randomly. That is, the pool of participants was chosen from the police station that was located conveniently near my place of residence and thus easily accessible, while the specific participants were randomly selected.The total participants were made up of five respondents, four of whom were male while one was a female. Their ages ranged from 21 years to above 60 years.

Consent to collect information from the officers was obtained from the chief of the police department , who also provided a written ‘go-ahead’ letter that could be used to assure the police officer that the information collection endeavor was approved by the chief. This letter proved especially invaluable as information touching on security apparatus operations is considered confidential and restricted only to those within that profession.Additionally, each of the police officers was on a personal level assured of complete confidentiality and anonymity, and each went ahead to review and sign the provided informed consent form.


The test instrument that I developed was meant to measure law enforcers understanding and perception towards geographic policing, and their opinion on the effectiveness of this construct in fulfilling the goals and objectives it was meant to achieve.

It was made up of a combination of True/False questions, Yes/No questions, Rating Scale and Open Ended Questions. The use of assorted questions requiring varied forms of responses in the test instrument was meant to deliver consistent responses, which would result in confidence in the results. The test instrument was developed based on the three steps of survey development which are considered as important in developing an effective test instrument. These included; creating the right questions, making use of ordinal scales for responses and finally, reviewing and pre-testing the test questions.

Data collection

The participants on whom the test instrument was administered were law enforcement officers. Due to the sensitivity of the information to be gathered, the information could not be gathered through internet surveys or a group setting or any other technique which could compromise on the confidentiality of the gathered information. Therefore, in this survey I made use of individualized administrations where the questionnaire was handed over to the participants personally and each participant filled it personally and individually. This was meant to enhance anonymityand facelessness on the part of the participants, and thus, the participants were more predisposed to provide truthful, accurate and honest responses.

The data was collected when the officers were in their natural environment. Two filled their questionnaires while they were in the confinement of the police station; the rest filled their questionnaires on the neighborhood streetsduring their patrols. I approached them, briefed them on the subject matter. Having showed them the letter of approval from the chief and assuring them of utmost confidentiality and anonymity, they agreed to be part of the participants and consequently filled the test instruments voluntarily. Due to the simplicity with which the test instrument was developed, and the inclusion of instructions on how the instrument should be filled, the test instruments were filled without much guidance.

Strengths of Test Instrument

The key strengths of the test instrument lie in its inclusion of many items, each examining the participant’s understanding and attitude towards different elements of the construct and each requiring a different response that goes towards accomplishing the overall objective of the test instrument.

Additionally, the test instrument included instructions and direction on how the participants could answer each section of the test instrument. This eliminated the possibility of ambiguity and vagueness in the items and during the answering of the items. This has the overall effect of making the test instrument valid and reliable in its results.

Other strengths of the test instrument recline in its ease of use and administrability. It does not take much time to be filled, and since numerical values have been attached to most of the item responses, an average rating scale can quickly be calculated thereby facilitating speedier and more accurate evaluation and analysis of the results. Additionally, Open ended questions have been included in the test instrument. Open ended questions have the benefit of not allowing the respondent to guess and since their format does not place boundaries on the possible responses that a particular participant can give, they reflect what the respondent considers most salient in the topic area. That is, they offer an opportunity for self expression.

Weaknesses of Test Instrument

The test instrument was developed based on the standards for constructing a standard test instrument. It followed standard guidelines and satisfied all the requirements of an acceptable instrument. However, the test instrument had some few weaknesses; the inclusion of items with rating scale responses may result in highly subjective evaluations, this is for the reason that the factors and degrees are vaguely defined. That is, the relative weight attached to each response is not specified. Another weakness stems from the problem of acquiescent response mode. This problem arises from the use of 5-scale response rating scales. This usually arises when the participants are given a ‘middle of the road’ or undecided answer response, which allows respondents to conceal their true opinion. However, this weakness has partly been offset by the inclusion of open ended questions as well as True/False and Yes/No questions.

Test Construction

During test construction, the scale was based on the classical measurement theory as presented by Nunnally. This approach of scale construction required homogeneity of scale dimensions and applies item analysis as a measure of standardization and not factor analysis as is the case with heterogeneous scales. Having employed this approach, all the items in the test instrument were clear and unambiguous. This was further aided by the inclusion of easy to follow instructions, as well as the presence of the test instrument administrator for clarification of any item that may be vague or problematic.

Clarity and Appropriateness of Response Choices

Based on the standards of a good rating scale, the presented test instrument has clear and appropriate response choices. The inclusion of different questions requiring different forms of responses such as True/false, Yes/No, Agree/Disagree responses and open ended questions further make the test instrument appropriate in measuring the construct.

Suitability of the Scale Appear To Measure the Selected Construct

The test instrument is apposite in measuring the law enforcement officer’s attitude towards geographic policing. The array of different questions testing on different aspects of the construct result to an in-depth understanding of the construct and help in drawing conclusions on the participants understanding and attitude towards geographic policing. Therefore the test instrument is fitting to test the construct that it was meant to measure.

Increasing the Validity of the Scale

Validity is the extent to which the instrument succeeds in measuring what it intends to measure. All researchers strive to increase the validity and reliability of rating scales. Test instruments are fundamental to the implementation of solid research. Any study that studies human behavior increasingly needs valid and reliable instruments in an attempt to quantify, analyze and interpret such behavior. The study of human behavior requires the use of valid and reliable instruments in order to quantify, analyze and interpret such behavior. It is an accepted fact in research design that the reliability and validity of quantitative research depends on the reliability and validity of the instruments applied.

The test instrument would give valid results; this is for reason that rating scales have largely been considered as valid tools for collecting valid results. However, the validity of the test instrument can further be increased if the test instrument could first be piloted or pretested before administering to the target participants.

It can also be improved by sampling people who are stakeholders and are directly affected by the construct under review since they are the ones who care most about the issue. In this case, the people to be sampled being professionals in the field of law enforcement.

Other ways through which the validity of the test instrument can be increased is through keeping the items short, this will prevent the participants from glazing over questions or avoiding them all together. The number of participants can also be increased to be more representative of the population.



Derrington, M. L. (2009, April). A Three-Step Guide to Developing Effective Surveys. Retrieved from National Association of Elementary School Principals:

Diem, K. (2002, January 2). A Step-By-Step Guide to Developing Effective Questionnaires and Survey Procedures for Program Evaluation & Research. Retrieved July 13, 2014, from New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station:

Seibert, Ph.D, T. (2002, July 24). Designing Surveys: A Workshop Co-Sponsored by The Community Research Center At Keene State College and Monadnock United Way.



Section A: General Information

  1. Are you

[a] Male                                   [b] Female?

  1. Your age at your last birthday was ______ years.

[a] 21-29.         [b] 30-39         [c] 40-49          [d] 50-59         [e] 60 or over

  1. Your racial/ethnic background is:

[a] White         [b] African American [c] Hispanic or Latin American

[d] Middle Eastern      [e] Native American    [f] Asian or Pacific Islander    [g] Other

  1. What is your assigned duty?

[a] Patrol         [b] Investigations

  1. Please check your current classification?

[a] Officer       [b]  Sergeant     [c]  Lieutenant            [d] Chief

  1. Do you live in the City?

[a] Yes                         [b] No

  1. What is your marital status?

[a] Single         [b] Married       [c] Divorced  [d] Widowed    [e] Live with significant other

  1. What is your current employment status?

[a] Employed full-time                        [b] Employed part-time

  1. What was your declared major in college? _______________________________
  2. What was your cumulative GPA (grade point average)?

[a] 2.5 or less  [b] 2.6 – 3.0     [c] 3.1- 3.5       [d] 3.6 or higher

Section B: Test Instrument Questions on Geographic Policing

For each of the following statements, please indicate the appropriate true/false answer next to the statements

  1. I have been trained to apply the philosophy of geographic policing in my daily work.

True                                                  False                

  1. Geographic policing has a positive impact in reducing crime in the city.

True                                                  False                

  1. Geographic policing creates better communication among officers and supervisors.

True                                                  False                

  1. Geographic policing has a positive impact on the relationship with the citizens

True                                                  False                

Which of the following statements closely exemplifies your view of geographic policing?

Statement Response
Yes No
5.      Geographic policing creates a perception of ownership with officers in their respective beat assignments
6.      I feel that I am held accountable for the crime in my beat.
7.      I frequently generate new approaches to dealing with crime in my beat.
8.      I have positive working relationships with most of the citizens in my beat.

For each of the statements below, please indicate the extent to which you agree with the statements with regards to your position on geographic policing. (Circle the appropriate number where: 1- Strongly Agree, 2-Agree, 3- Neutral, 4-Disagree, 5-Strongly Disagree)

  1. I am concerned with the crime prevention participation levels of the citizens in my beat.

Strongly Agree            1          2          3          4          5          strongly disagree

  1. I am concerned about the competency levels of my fellow officers regarding geographic policing.

Strongly Agree            1          2          3          4          5          strongly disagree

  1. I believe that the citizens of the City have a reduced fear of crime, due to geographic policing.

Strongly Agree            1          2          3          4          5          strongly disagree

  1. I believe that geographic policing helps me define neighborhood crime problems.

Strongly Agree            1          2          3          4          5          strongly disagree

  1. I believe that geographic policing relies heavily on the dissemination of intelligence information.

Strongly Agree            1          2          3          4          5          strongly disagree

  1. I promote geographic policing as a useful tool in reducing crime and boosting community connections.

Strongly Agree            1          2          3          4          5          strongly disagree

  1. My understanding of the concept of geographic policing is ____________________


  1. What is your opinion on the impact that geographic policing has on the Uniform Crime Report


If I could change one aspect of geographic policing, it would be_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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