As in prior administrations, PIRLS 2016 included self-administered questionnaires for principals, teachers, and students. To create the questionnaires for 2016, the 2011 versions were reviewed extensively by the NRCs from the participating countries as well as a Questionnaire Item Review Committee (QIRC). The QIRC comprises 10–12 experienced NRCs from different participating countries who have analyzed PIRLS data and use it in their countries. The QIRC review resulted in items being deleted or revised, and the addition of several new ones. Like the assessment items, all questionnaire items were field-tested, and the results reviewed carefully. As a result, some of the questionnaire items needed to be revised prior to their inclusion in the final questionnaires.
The PIRLS questionnaires requested information to help provide a context for the performance scores, focusing on such topics as students' attitudes and beliefs about learning, their habits and homework, and their lives both in and outside of school; teachers' attitudes and beliefs about teaching and learning, teaching assignments, class size and organization, instructional practices, and participation in professional development activities; and principals' viewpoints on policy and budget responsibilities, curriculum and instruction issues and student behavior, as well as descriptions of the organization of schools and courses. The brief ePIRLS student questionnaire asked questions about computer and internet usage.
For 2016, online versions of the school and teacher questionnaires were offered to respondents as the primary mode of data collection. Detailed results from the student, teacher, and school surveys are not discussed in the First Look report but are available in the international reports, the PIRLS 2016 International Results in Reading (Mullis et al. 2017) and ePIRLS 2016 International Results in Online Informational Reading (Mullis et al. 2017).