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WA2: Basic Principles of Survey Design

Presenter 1
Thomas Lindsay
University of Minnesota
Presenter 2
Andrew Sell
University of Minnesota
Presenter 3
Michelle Edwards
University of Guelph

What makes a good survey? This interactive workshop will explore the basic tenets of survey design for an audience of data professionals who are not familiar with survey design principles. In the course of the workshop, participants will work with each other and with the leaders to design a simple feedback instrument from beginning to end. Though the primary focus of the workshop will be on instrument design, the group will start by addressing the research questions that drive instrument creation and will work first to formulate a cogent set of research objectives and analytical goals to reach those objectives. With these objectives and goals established, participants will create a focused questionnaire designed to meet them. Using principles largely based on the theoretical work of Dillman and Krosnick, the leaders will guide participants through the various question types and answer methods to explain when and why survey designers use various question types and structures. Working collaboratively in small groups and as a large group, we will start with larger issues of bias, fatigue, and order effects, and will work in to narrower specific issues such as likert scale polarity and how to word scale items as we create a basic survey instrument. Finally, we will briefly discuss issues of usability testing, recruitment, and analysis.

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