Surveys SD

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Surveys SD

  1. 1. Policy Research 101 How to Design a Survey … and when and how to avoid it! Keith Curry Lance Consultant RSL Research Group
  2. 2. Major Alternatives to Surveys <ul><li>Available data </li></ul><ul><li>Focus group interviews </li></ul><ul><li>Key informant interviews </li></ul><ul><li>Observational studies </li></ul><ul><li>Experiments </li></ul>
  3. 3. Key Questions <ul><li>What do we need to know? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How will we use the information? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Who has it? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Are they an authoritative source? How willingly will they share it? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What kind of information is it? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Who, what, how often vs. how, why </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Issues in Survey Design <ul><li>What questions to ask </li></ul><ul><li>General format </li></ul><ul><li>Item formats </li></ul><ul><li>Structured responses </li></ul><ul><li>Wording items </li></ul><ul><li>Ordering items </li></ul><ul><li>Maximizing usable returns </li></ul><ul><li>Format for data entry </li></ul><ul><li>Data entry & analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Web-based surveys </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sampling </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Design </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Administration </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Data processing </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. What Questions to Ask <ul><li>Competence of respondent </li></ul><ul><li>Privacy of respondent </li></ul><ul><li>Relevance to issue </li></ul><ul><li>Needing v. wanting to know </li></ul><ul><li>Survey as educational tool </li></ul>
  6. 6. General Format <ul><li>Length </li></ul><ul><li>White space on page </li></ul><ul><li>Columns, back of page </li></ul><ul><li>Defining sections, spaces; emphasizing key items (lines, boxes, shading, placement) </li></ul>
  7. 7. Item Formats <ul><li>Open-ended questions </li></ul><ul><li>Structured responses: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Yes/no, true/false </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>multiple choice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>check-off lists </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ranking lists </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Likert scales </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Matrix items </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Structured Responses <ul><li>Standardized ranges </li></ul><ul><li>Comprehensive, exhaustive </li></ul><ul><li>Mutually exclusive </li></ul>
  9. 9. Wording Items <ul><li>Neutrality, balanced viewpoints </li></ul><ul><li>Clear, brief items </li></ul><ul><li>Simple items (no compounds) </li></ul><ul><li>Redundant items (testing reliability) </li></ul>
  10. 10. Ordering of Items <ul><li>Logical sequence </li></ul><ul><li>Time sequence </li></ul><ul><li>Controversial item placement </li></ul><ul><li>Halo effect, response sets </li></ul><ul><li>Alternating item format </li></ul>
  11. 11. Maximizing Usable Returns <ul><li>Keep it short </li></ul><ul><li>“Bribery” to respond (reward, prizes) </li></ul><ul><li>Easing return (SASE, fold/refold) </li></ul><ul><li>Organizing to receive returns (addressee i.d., storage) </li></ul><ul><li>Follow-up mailings, calls </li></ul>
  12. 12. Format for Data Entry <ul><li>Numbering cases </li></ul><ul><li>Numbering items </li></ul><ul><li>Placing item numbers </li></ul><ul><li>Spacing responses </li></ul><ul><li>Using column, matrix items </li></ul><ul><li>Alternating item formats </li></ul><ul><li>Capturing numeric responses (check, circle; line, space, box) </li></ul>
  13. 13. Data Entry and Analysis <ul><li>Coding alpha, string responses (converting words to numbers) </li></ul><ul><li>Missing responses, pages </li></ul><ul><li>Unclear, illegible, inaccurate or multiple responses </li></ul><ul><li>Numbering cases </li></ul><ul><li>Spreadsheet, database, data entry, statistical software </li></ul>
  14. 14. Web-Based Surveys <ul><li>Sampling issues </li></ul><ul><li>Design issues </li></ul><ul><li>Administration issues </li></ul><ul><li>Data processing issues </li></ul>
  15. 15. Web-Based Surveys: Sampling <ul><li>Difficulty of random sampling </li></ul><ul><li>Self-selection factors </li></ul><ul><li>Sampling biases </li></ul>
  16. 16. Web-Based Surveys: Design <ul><li>Response format options (radials, toggles, drop-downs) </li></ul><ul><li>Controlling responses (single v. multiple response items, parameters, contingencies) </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunity for elaboration (contingencies, survey length) </li></ul>
  17. 17. Web-Based Surveys: Administration <ul><li>Authentication of respondents </li></ul><ul><li>Follow-up issues </li></ul><ul><li>Web form for data entry from paper </li></ul>
  18. 18. Web-Based Surveys: Data Processing <ul><li>Data delivery options (e-mail, text file, database file) </li></ul><ul><li>Data editing options (automatic edit/error checks) </li></ul>
  19. 19. Tools for Survey Research <ul><li>Links about survey research: http://www.lrs.org/resources.asp#surveys </li></ul><ul><li>Links about other research methods: http://www.lrs.org/resources.asp </li></ul><ul><li>Sample size, cooperation rate, and response rate calculators, random date generator, and other calculators: http://www.lrs.org/tools.asp </li></ul>
  20. 20. Contact Information <ul><li>Keith Curry Lance </li></ul><ul><li>Consultant, RSL Research Group </li></ul><ul><li>Tel. 303 466 1860 - Mobile 720 232 5866 </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] or </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>http:// www.linkedin.com/in/keithcurrylance </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.RSLresearch.com </li></ul>

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