SC970-7-AU-CO:
Introduction to Survey Design and Management

The details
2019/20
Sociology
Colchester Campus
Autumn
Postgraduate: Level 7
Current
Thursday 03 October 2019
Saturday 14 December 2019
20
15 May 2019

 

Requisites for this module
(none)
(none)
(none)
(none)

 

SC972

Key module for

MSC B99012 Health Research,
MSC B990MO Health Research,
MSC L31012 Survey Methods for Social Research,
MSC L310MO Survey Methods for Social Research

Module description

This module introduces students to the principles and practice of modern survey design. The module exposes students to the considerable literature on survey methodology that informs best practice in contemporary survey research. Survey methodology has, over the past two decades or so, developed into a more or less unified field of research and practice. It brings together insights from, inter alia, cognitive and social psychology and statistics to explain how human behaviour and survey design decisions interact to produce data of varying quality. Key to this perspective is the concept of 'total survey error'. This framework is used throughout the module to discuss the multiple sources of error that modern survey design methods aim to mitigate. The initial focus of this module is on introducing social science graduates to the fundamentals of survey design and to the concept of survey error. A variety of different types of design are introduced with their relative costs, benefits and indications for particular types of study purpose. The focus then moves to introducing students to a variety of modes of data collection and the significance of survey mode on data quality. Different sources of measurement error are then identified and explored; respondents, questions, and interviewers. We then look at how to design questions, and ways of evaluating questions to avoid eliciting measurement error. Finally, we look at the role of survey management; keeping a balance between survey errors and costs. Throughout the module, concepts and methods will be illustrated with real examples and case studies - many of them drawn from the survey work that takes place at ISER.







Aims

The aim of this course is to provide an introduction to the theory and practice of modern survey design and measurement The focus will be on practical transferable survey skills required to conduct professional surveys.
.


Learning Outcomes

By the end of the module students should be able to:



* Distinguish between different types of survey designs and their uses

* Understand and explain the total survey error framework

* Demonstrate an understanding of the key features of effective questionnaire design

* Design a questionnaire using current best practice

* Identify the different modes of survey data collection and the implications for cost and quality





Syllabus

* Survey Quality and Survey Error: The Total Survey Error perspective (1 week)

* What is a survey? Steps in the process (population of inference, from concepts to questions)

* Survey quality and survey error (total survey error)



* Survey mode and data collection methods (2 weeks)

* Telephone, face to face, self-completion, web, mobile


* Mixed and multi-mode surveys

* Mode effects on survey error

* Current practices



* New develoments in surveys (1 week)
* The future of surveys?
* Online access (non-probability) panels
* Data collection using mobile devices, sensors, wearables
* Linkage to 'big data', e.g. government administrative records, social media data

* Sources of measurement error (2 weeks)

* Psychology of survey response (Cognitive Aspects of Survey Methodolgy).


* Sources of measurement error - the interviewer (interviewer effects), respondent (recall, satisficing, social desirability), questionnaire (context and framing effects)



* Question wording (1 week)
* Principles of writing survey questions
* Hands-on practice and critique of survey measures



* Question and Questionnaire evaluation methods (1 week)
* Cognitive testing
* Behaviour coding
* Expert review
* Other methods and issues
*
* Designing web surveys in Qualtrix (1 week)
* Principles of web survey design
* Hands-on practice on how to design a web survey in Qualtrics
*

* Survey Management (1 week)

* Survey management practice and quality control

* Legal and ethical obligations

Module aims

The aim of this course is to provide an introduction to the theory and practice of modern survey design and measurement. The focus will be on practical transferable survey skills required to conduct professional surveys.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the module students should be able to:
• Distinguish between different types of survey designs and their uses
• Understand and explain the total survey error framework
• Demonstrate an understanding of the key features of effective questionnaire design
• Design a questionnaire using current best practice
• Identify the different modes of survey data collection and the implications

Module information

The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its Module Directory is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to programmes, modules, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to modules may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery or assessment of modules and other services, to discontinue modules and other services and to merge or combine modules. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications and module directory.
The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.

Learning and teaching methods

20 hours in Autumn Term: one 2-hour seminar per week for 10 weeks

Bibliography

  • Suchman, Lucy; Jordan, Brigitte. (1990) 'Interactional Troubles in Face-to-Face Survey Interviews', in Journal of the American Statistical Association. vol. 85 (409) , pp.232-
  • (2012) 'Understanding Society: design overview', in Longitudinal and Life Course Studies. vol. 3 (1)
  • Tourangeau, Roger; Conrad, Frederick G.; Couper, Mick. (c2013) The science of web surveys, New York: Oxford University Press.
  • West, Brady T.; Conrad, Frederick G.; Kreuter, Frauke; Mittereder, Felicitas. (2018) 'Can conversational interviewing improve survey response quality without increasing interviewer effects?', in Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series A (Statistics in Society). vol. 181 (1) , pp.181-203
  • Stanley Presser, Mick P. Couper, Judith T. Lessler, Elizabeth Martin, Jean Martin, Jennifer M. Rothgeb and Eleanor Singer. (2004) 'Methods for Testing and Evaluating Survey Questions', in The Public Opinion Quarterly: Oxford University Press. vol. 68, pp.109-130
  • Allen, Louisa. (2003) 'Girls Want Sex, Boys Want Love: Resisting Dominant Discourses of (Hetero) Sexuality', in Sexualities. vol. 6 (2) , pp.215-236
  • (2012-10-12) International Handbook of Survey Methodology, London: Taylor & Francis Ltd.
  • Groves, Robert M. (c2009) Survey methodology, Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley.
  • Paul C. Beatty and Gordon B. Willis. (2007) 'Research synthesis: the practice of cognitive interviewing', in The Public Opinion Quarterly: Oxford University Press. vol. 71 (2)
  • Brady T. West. (no date) '“Interviewer” Effects in Face-to-Face Surveys: A Function of Sampling, Measurement Error, or Nonresponse?', in Journal of Official Statistics. vol. 29 (2) , pp.277-297
  • Schwarz, Norbert. (2007-03) 'Cognitive aspects of survey methodology', in Applied Cognitive Psychology. vol. 21 (2) , pp.277-287
  • Converse, Jean M.; Presser, Stanley. (c1986) Survey questions: handcrafting the standardized questionnaire, Beverly Hills: Sage Publications. vol. 63
  • Jäckle, Annette; Gaia, Alessandra; Benzeval, Michaela. (2018) The use of new technologies to measure socioeconomic and environmental concepts in longitudinal studies: UCL Institute of Education.
  • DeLeeuw, Edith. (2018) 'Mixed-Mode: Past, Present, and Future', in Survey Research Methods. vol. 12 (2)
  • Leeuw, Edith Desirée de; Hox, J. J.; Dillman, Don A. (2008) International handbook of survey methodology, New York: Lawrence Erlbaum.
  • Callegaro, Mario; Manfreda, Katja Lozar; Vehovar, Vasja. (2015) Web survey methodology, Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.
  • Groves, Robert M. (c2009) Survey methodology, Hoboken: Wiley.

The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course. The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students. Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework weekly coursework 10%
Coursework Essay of up to 4000 words 14/01/2020 90%

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%

Reassessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Prof Annette Jackle (ISER), Dr Alex Wenz (ISER) and Dr Jon Burton (ISER)
Michele Hall, Graduate Administrator, Telephone 01206 873051, Email: socpgadm@essex.ac.uk

 

Availability
Yes
No
Yes

External examiner

Prof Paul Stretesky
The University of Northumbria at Newcastle
Professor of Criminology
Resources
Available via Moodle
Of 20 hours, 18 (90%) hours available to students:
2 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).

 

Further information
Sociology

Disclaimer: The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its Module Directory is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to programmes, modules, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to modules may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery or assessment of modules and other services, to discontinue modules and other services and to merge or combine modules. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications and module directory.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.