Designing Surveys to Determine the Impact of Online Social Networks #naspatech8

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As the popularity of online social networking sites continues to grow with incoming students, higher education needs to have a better understanding of online social media tools. An understanding of how to design surveys is needed to determine the impact of online social networks on student’s social and academic interactions. Student affairs professionals spend considerable time analyzing, reporting, and discussing survey results. We often hear during these conversations, how do we ensure this information is accurate? Is this information generalizable? Is this information meaningful? Did we ask about student usage? Should we have asked about student perceptions of online social networks? How does online social networking impact students’ academic and social interactions on campus? Should we have asked about privacy? This presentation will address these questions and others by outlining the steps in survey development, posing areas to explore in online social networks, and engaging attendees in the survey construction process.

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  • Coverage error – when not all members of the population have a known, non-zero chance of being included in the sample and when those excluded are different from those who are included on measures of interest Sampling error –transfer students vs non-transfer students; leads to re-defining the population; lack of random sampling -> decreases generalizability
  • Non-response error solutions – forced responses or offering an option “prefer not to answer”
  • Online social networks have become a part of everyday life to the majority of college students (Texas A&M University Student Life Studies, 2009; Kord and Wolf-Wendel, 2009; Texas A&M University Student Life Studies, 2011). Online social networks such as Facebook offer users a medium to stay connected to individuals and groups around the clock. As Facebook approaches a decade of social connectivity and as popularity continues to grow with later generations of students, higher education needs to have a better understanding of online social networks. While online social media is seen in headlines, little research has been conducted on the impact of online social networks on student’s academic and social interaction in higher education. It is not clear whether social media is a help or a hindrance to college students and higher education (Teclehaimanot and Hickman, 2011; Munoz & Strotmeyer, 2010; Eberhardt, 2006). In addition, the dearth of literature that is available neglects student perspectives (Martinez Aleman and Wartman, 2009). Although college students are using this media to stay connected with peers, few students interact (Kolek & Saunders, 2008) or feel comfortable (Teclehaimanot, et. al, 2011) interacting with campus faculty and staff. Kord & Wolf-Wendel (2009) found that as students spend more time with online social networks the less students perceived faculty were concerned about student development and teaching and were less likely to positively perceive growth in their academic and intellectual development. These findings are of particular concern because these variables have been associated with student persistence (Tinto, 1993; Pacarella & Terenzini, 1980; Pacarella & Terenzini, 1998). Since this study provides perspectives of freshman on campus, it is not clear if online social networking has the same impact on sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Future studies should examine the relationship between online social networking and undergraduate perceptions of academic and social integration to see if perceptions of academic interactions differ across student classification. Such a study would provide information on whether or not online social networking is a help or hindrance to student’s academic and social integration on campus. Another concern is student awareness of privacy in online social networks (Koleck, et. al, 2008; Eberhardt, 2006; Ebderhardt, 2005). Koleck, et. al (2008) found only 11% of student profiles had restricted access so that researchers could not view the student’s profile, while women were more likely than men to disclose personal information. Further studies should investigate whether or not universities are seeing an increase in student Facebook usage as well as explore student’s perspectives on disclosing information on Facebook. As new features are added to social media site, student usage of these features and their impact on student identities and privacy also need to be investigated.
  • Objective: Attendees will discuss their own campus research questions regarding social media.
  • Objective: Attendees will determine poor items given a sample survey and pilot study data. Objective: Attendees will propose suggested revisions to poor items.
  • Facebook jargon should be clear to respondents Mini-feed – not clear on which feature this choice is referring to. “ Check-in” – application called “Places” Actions vs. features Posting on other people’s walls – could be changed to Wall-to-Wall feature Searching for people – search tool bar
  • Designing Surveys to Determine the Impact of Online Social Networks #naspatech8

    1. 1. Designing Surveys to Determine Impact of Online Social Networks on Student’s Social and Academic Interactions Nicola Ritter, M.Ed. Data Analyst, Student Life Studies @nicolalritter #naspatech8
    2. 2. Take Away Points <ul><li>Outline the facets of survey development </li></ul><ul><li>Pose areas to explore in online social networks (OSN) </li></ul><ul><li>Engage in the survey construction process </li></ul>
    3. 3. I. Tailored Design Dillman, Smyth, & Christian (2009) <ul><li>Reduces Survey Error </li></ul><ul><li>Develops procedures that are respondent-centered </li></ul><ul><li>Includes variety of features that build positive social exchange </li></ul>
    4. 4. 1. Reducing Survey Error Dillman, Smyth, & Christian (2009) <ul><li>Coverage Error – when some members of the population are excluded AND those excluded are different from those included (e.g. students with text messaging vs. students without text messaging) </li></ul><ul><li>Sampling Error – surveying only a portion of the population (e.g. full time vs. part-time students) </li></ul><ul><li>(ie. Ravert, Calix, & Sullivan (2010) </li></ul>
    5. 5. 1. Reducing Survey Error Dillman, Smyth, & Christian (2009) <ul><li>Non-response Error – respondents different from non-respondents (e.g. missing data) </li></ul><ul><li>Measurement Error – inaccurate or imprecise responses (e.g. item construction) </li></ul><ul><li>(ie. Ravert, Calix, & Sullivan (2010)) </li></ul>
    6. 6. 2. Develops procedures that are respondent-centered Dillman, Smyth, & Christian (2009) <ul><li>Increase the Benefits of Participation </li></ul><ul><li>Decrease Cost of Participation </li></ul><ul><li>Establish Trust </li></ul>
    7. 7. Increase the Benefits of Participation <ul><li>Provide information about the survey </li></ul><ul><li>Ask for help or advise </li></ul><ul><li>Show positive regard </li></ul><ul><li>Say thank you </li></ul><ul><li>Support group values </li></ul><ul><li>Give tangible rewards </li></ul><ul><li>Make the questionnaire interesting </li></ul><ul><li>Provide social validation </li></ul><ul><li>Inform people that opportunities to respond are limited </li></ul>
    8. 8. Decrease Cost of Participation <ul><li>Make it convenient to respond </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid subordinating language </li></ul><ul><li>Make the questionnaire short and easy to complete </li></ul><ul><li>Minimize requests to obtain personal or sensitive information </li></ul><ul><li>Emphasize similarity to other requests or task to which a person has already responded </li></ul>
    9. 9. Establish Trust <ul><li>Obtain sponsorship by legitimate authority </li></ul><ul><li>Provide a token of appreciation in advance </li></ul><ul><li>Make the task appear important </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure confidentiality and security of information </li></ul>
    10. 10. 3. Includes variety of features that build positive social exchange Dillman, Smyth, & Christian (2009) <ul><li>Outside the Survey </li></ul><ul><li>Invitations </li></ul><ul><li>Reminder s </li></ul><ul><li>Thank yous </li></ul><ul><li>Follow-up that offers results </li></ul><ul><li>Inside the Survey </li></ul><ul><li>Clickable graphics </li></ul><ul><li>Analog Scales </li></ul>
    11. 11. II. Research Questions: Beyond Usage (Ritter, in review) <ul><li>Insight to student perspectives (Martinez Aleman & Wartman, 2009) </li></ul><ul><li>Social and Academic Interactions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Student/Student, Student/Faculty-Staff Interactions (Kord & Wolf-Wendel, 2009; Teclehaimanot & Hickman, 2011) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Student/Organization Interactions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Impact of New Features (ie. Groups/Circles, geo-location tools) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Privacy (Eberhardt, 2005; Eberhardt, 2006; Koleck & Saunders, 2008; Kirschner & Karpinski, 2010) </li></ul><ul><li>Student Affair Professionals Usage </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Students </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Organization </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Other </li></ul></ul>
    12. 12. Brainstorm Topic/subtopics
    13. 13. Overall Survey Construction <ul><li>What survey mode(s) will be used to ask the questions? </li></ul><ul><li>Is this question being repeated from another survey, and/or will answers be compared to previously collected data? </li></ul><ul><li>Will respondents be willing and motivated to answer accurately? </li></ul><ul><li>What type of information is the question asking for? </li></ul>
    14. 14. Guidelines for Word Choice & Question Format (Dillman, et. al. (2009) <ul><li>Make sure the question applies to the respondent. </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure the question is technically accurate. </li></ul><ul><li>Ask one question at a time. </li></ul><ul><li>Use similar and familiar words </li></ul><ul><li>Use specific and concrete words to specify the concepts clearly. </li></ul>
    15. 15. Guidelines for Word Choice & Question Format (Dillman, et. al. (2009) <ul><li>Use as few words as possible to pose the question. </li></ul><ul><li>Use complete sentences with simple sentence structures. </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure “yes” means yes and “no” means no. </li></ul><ul><li>Be sure the question specifies the response task. </li></ul>
    16. 16. 1. Make sure the question applies to the respondent. <ul><li>A question that does not require an answer from every respondent </li></ul><ul><li>If you have a Facebook profile, about how many hours per day do you spend on Facebook? </li></ul><ul><li>hours per day </li></ul>
    17. 17. 1. Make sure the question applies to the respondent. <ul><li>A question that uses a filter </li></ul><ul><li>Do you have a Facebook profile? </li></ul><ul><li>Yes </li></ul><ul><li>No </li></ul><ul><li>About how many hours per day do you spend on Facebook? </li></ul><ul><li> hours per day </li></ul>
    18. 18. 2. Make sure the question is technically accurate. <ul><li>Which Facebook features/activities listed below do you use? (Check all that apply) </li></ul><ul><li>Mini-feed </li></ul><ul><li>News feed </li></ul><ul><li>Check-in </li></ul><ul><li>Posting on other people’s walls </li></ul><ul><li>Searching for people </li></ul>
    19. 19. 2. Make sure the question is technically accurate. <ul><li>Which Facebook features listed below do you use? (Check all that apply) </li></ul><ul><li>News feed </li></ul><ul><li>Check-in on Places </li></ul><ul><li>Wall-to-Wall </li></ul><ul><li>Search bar </li></ul>
    20. 20. 3. Ask one question at a time. <ul><li>Two questions in one </li></ul><ul><li>From which one of these sources did you first learn about A&M moving to the SEC? </li></ul><ul><li>University website </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter </li></ul><ul><li>Someone at work </li></ul><ul><li>While traveling to campus </li></ul>
    21. 21. 3. Ask one question at a time. <ul><li>From which one of these sources did you first learn about A&M moving to the SEC? </li></ul><ul><li>University website </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter </li></ul><ul><li>Radio </li></ul><ul><li>TexAgs </li></ul><ul><li>Another person </li></ul><ul><li>Where were you when you first heard about it? </li></ul><ul><li>At work </li></ul><ul><li>At home </li></ul><ul><li>Traveling to work </li></ul><ul><li>Somewhere else: </li></ul>
    22. 22. 4. Use similar and familiar words <ul><li>From which one of these sources did you first learn about A&M moving to the SEC? </li></ul><ul><li>University website </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter </li></ul><ul><li>Radio </li></ul><ul><li>TexAgs </li></ul><ul><li>Another person </li></ul>
    23. 23. 4. Use similar and familiar words <ul><li>From which one of these sources did you first learn about Texas A&M moving to the Southeastern Conference? </li></ul><ul><li>University website </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter </li></ul><ul><li>Radio </li></ul><ul><li>TexAgs </li></ul><ul><li>Another person </li></ul>
    24. 24. 5. Use specific and concrete words to specify the concepts clearly. <ul><li>How many times did you log on to Facebook as a student affairs professional last week? </li></ul><ul><li># of times </li></ul>
    25. 25. 5. Use specific and concrete words to specify the concepts clearly. <ul><li>How many times did you log on to Facebook as a student affairs professional last week? </li></ul><ul><li># of times </li></ul><ul><li>To work with students </li></ul>
    26. 26. 5. Use specific and concrete words to specify the concepts clearly. <ul><li>How many times did you log on to Facebook as a student affairs professional to connect with students last week? </li></ul><ul><li># of times </li></ul>
    27. 27. 6. Use as few words as possible to pose the question. <ul><li>According to Strauss and Howe (1992), the United States is made up of different generations. Based on their definitions, which generation do you belong to? </li></ul><ul><li>Silent Generation (born in years 1924 through 1942) </li></ul><ul><li>Boom Generation (born in years 1943 through 1960) </li></ul><ul><li>Generation X (born in years 1961 through 1981) </li></ul><ul><li>Millennial Generation (born in years 1982 through 2002) </li></ul>
    28. 28. 6. Use as few words as possible to pose the question. <ul><li>Which age range were you born? </li></ul><ul><li>1924 - 1942 </li></ul><ul><li>1943 -1960 </li></ul><ul><li>1961 - 1981 </li></ul><ul><li>1982 - 2002 </li></ul><ul><li>What year were you born? </li></ul>
    29. 29. 7. Use complete sentences with simple sentence structures. <ul><li>Number of years lived in Texas </li></ul><ul><li>Years </li></ul><ul><li>Your city or town </li></ul><ul><li>City or Town </li></ul>
    30. 30. 7. Use complete sentences with simple sentence structures. <ul><li>Number of years lived in Texas </li></ul><ul><li>Years </li></ul><ul><li>Your city or town </li></ul><ul><li>City or Town </li></ul><ul><li>About 25% of respondents listed the # of years they lived in the city or town </li></ul>
    31. 31. 7. Use complete sentences with simple sentence structures. <ul><li>How many years have you lived in Texas? </li></ul><ul><li>Years </li></ul><ul><li>In what city or town do you live? </li></ul><ul><li>Name of City or Town </li></ul>
    32. 32. 8. Make sure “yes” means yes and “no” means no. <ul><li>A question with a double negative </li></ul><ul><li>Do you favor or oppose not allowing Texas A&M to use information from Facebook and Twitter during proceedings? </li></ul><ul><li>Favor </li></ul><ul><li>Oppose </li></ul>
    33. 33. 8. Make sure “yes” means yes and “no” means no. <ul><li>Revision with no double negative </li></ul><ul><li>Do you favor or oppose allowing Texas A&M to use information from Facebook and Twitter during proceedings? </li></ul><ul><li>Favor </li></ul><ul><li>Oppose </li></ul>
    34. 34. 8. Make sure “yes” means yes and “no” means no. <ul><li>Revision with that preserves important wording </li></ul><ul><li>In the upcoming student elections, you will be asked to vote on this referendum: “[Insert referendum]” If the election were held today, would you vote for or against approval? </li></ul><ul><li>For </li></ul><ul><li>Against </li></ul>
    35. 35. 9. Be sure the question specifies the response task. <ul><li>A question specifying different tasks </li></ul><ul><li>How many days a week do you log in to Facebook? </li></ul><ul><li>More than once a day </li></ul><ul><li>Once a day </li></ul><ul><li>A few times a week </li></ul><ul><li>Once every other week </li></ul><ul><li>Once a month </li></ul><ul><li>Less than once a month </li></ul>
    36. 36. 9. Be sure the question specifies the response task. <ul><li>Revision </li></ul><ul><li>How many days per week do you log in to Facebook? </li></ul><ul><li>days per week </li></ul>
    37. 37. References <ul><li>Dillman, D. A., Smyth, J.D., & Christian, L. M., (2009). Internet, Mail, and Mixed-Mode Surveys: The Tailored Design Method (3 rd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons, Inc. </li></ul><ul><li>Eberhardt, D. (2005). Should institutions respect students’ on-line privacy of facebook?. Journal of College and Character, 6 (7). </li></ul><ul><li>Eberhardt, D. (2006). The facebook/myspace era: A help or hinderance to college students and administrators?. Journal of College and Character, 7 (7). </li></ul><ul><li>Kirschner, P. A., and Karpinski, A. C. (2010). Facebook and academic performance, Computers in Human Behavior, 26 (6), 1237-1245. doi: 10.1016/j.chb.2010.03.024 </li></ul><ul><li>Kolek, E. A. & Saunders, D. (2008). Online disclosure: An empirical examination of undergraduate facebook profiles. NASPA Journal, 45 (1), 1-25. </li></ul><ul><li>Kord, J., & Wolf-Wendel, L. (2009). The relationship between online social networking and academic and social integration. College Student Affairs Journal, 28 (1), 103. </li></ul><ul><li>Martinez-Aleman, A. M. and Wartman, K. L. Online Social Networking on Campus: Understanding What Matters in Student Culture , Routledge, New York, NY, 2009. </li></ul><ul><li>Ravert, R. D., Calix, S. I., Sullivan, M. J. (2010). Research in brief: Using mobile phones to collect daily experience data from college undergraduates. Journal of College Student Development , 51 (3) 343-352. </li></ul><ul><li>Ritter, N. (in review). Journal sponsored by Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education. </li></ul><ul><li>Teclehaimanot, B., & Hickman, T. (2011). Student-teacher interaction on facebook: What students find appropriate. TechTrends: Linking Research and Practice to Improve Learning, 55 (3), 19-30. </li></ul>

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