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Survey and Questionnaire Design

Course Dates and Times

Monday 5 – Friday 9 August

09:00–10:30 and 11:00–12:30

Julia Koltai

koltai.juli@gmail.com

Eötvös Loránd University

Surveys ask a lot of people a lot of questions. They are, arguably, the most popular method of data collection because it is supposedly straightforward to run a survey. However, in practice, designing a survey that collects good quality data is a lot more complex.

This course provides in-depth guidelines to survey research design and implementation of surveys, from the initial planning phase to final data analysis.

The course guides you through every step of survey methodology, giving you the full picture of this kind of research.

ECTS Credits for this course and, below, tasks for the additional credits.

3 credits As above, plus complete the daily graded assignments.

4 credits As above, plus complete a take-home paper. The Instructor will set a deadline no later than three weeks after the end of the course.


Instructor Bio

Julia Koltai is an assistant professor at the Faculty of Social Sciences, Eötvös Loránd University. She is also a research fellow at the Centre for Social Sciences, Hungarian Academy of Sciences. She gained her PhD in sociology in 2013.

Julia has led several domestic research programs and has taken part in international research projects and groups, including EU FP6-funded programs.

Her main scientific focus is on statistics and social research methodology, so her research has ranged widely, from minority research through political participation to social justice and integration.

In recent years, Julia's interest has turned to computational social science, especially network analysis and big data processing.

  @koltaijuli


Day 1

We situate survey research in social research methodology and get a general picture about the life cycle of survey research. Different modes of data collection.

Day 2

We focus on sampling methods and start to create a questionnaire.

Day 3

Measurements of survey constructs, how to write survey questions and what to be careful about when creating a whole questionnaire.

How to make sure the questions measure what they are intended to measure; the design effect on responses, and the causes of nonresponse.

Day 4

The database made from the answers will be at the centre of this class: its structure, the data cleaning and weighting processes and the frame, within which you can decide about the data analysis. This course does not cover detailed data analysis techniques. Search for 'data analysis' on the Course List page to find such courses.

Day 5

The harmonisation of every research step, from hypothesis, through questionnaire design, to data analysis.

We talk about the future of survey research, about emerging and competing techniques and their place in forming a new paradigm.


Daily assignments will be either on a topic given by the Instructor or on students' particular research interests.

No specific knowledge or statistical software skills are needed. The course focuses on the design of surveys, not the analysis of survey data.

However, some basic practical experience in analysing data – especially about variable transformation, cross tabulation and mean analysis – would be beneficial.

Each course includes pre-course assignments, including readings and pre-recorded videos, as well as daily live lectures totalling at least two and a half hours. The instructor will conduct live Q&A sessions and offer designated office hours for one-to-one consultations.

Please check your course format before registering.

Online courses

Live classes will be held daily for two and half hours on a video meeting platform, allowing you to interact with both the instructor and other participants in real-time. To avoid online fatigue, the course employs a pedagogy that includes small-group work, short and focused tasks, as well as troubleshooting exercises that utilise a variety of online applications to facilitate collaboration and engagement with the course content.


Disclaimer

This course description may be subject to subsequent adaptations (e.g. taking into account new developments in the field, participant demands, group size, etc.). Registered participants will be informed at the time of change.

By registering for this course, you confirm that you possess the knowledge required to follow it. The instructor will not teach these prerequisite items. If in doubt, please contact us before registering.

Day Topic Details
1 - Session 1 The place of survey in the space of social research methodology The lifecycle of a survey research
  • Qualitative and quantitative methods
  • Validity, reliability, causality
  • The life cycle of survey research: from finding a research topic to publication
1 - Session 2 Survey mode choices
  • PAPI, CAPI, CASI, CATI, and CAWI 
2 - Session 1 Sampling
  • Basic concepts
  • Representativity
  • Probability and non-probability sampling
  • Multi-stage sampling
  • The role of stratification
2 - Session 2 Questionnaire design#1
  • Levels of measurement of survey constructs
  • How to write survey questions: principles
3 - Session 1 Questionnaire design#2
  • How to write survey questions: concepts and examples
3 - Session 2 Questionnaire design#3
  • Design effect
  • Causes of nonresponse
4 - Session 1 Questionnaire and database creation#1
  • Data recording
  • Structure of the dataset
  • Data cleaning
  • Weighting
4 - Session 2 Questionnaire and database creation#2
  • The importance of levels of measurement
  • The goals of description, classification and analysis
5 - Session 1 Techniques for maximizing data quality
  • Data recording
  • Structure of the dataset
  • Data cleaning
  • Weighting
5 - Session 2 Hypothesis, questionnaire design and analysis
  • The importance of levels of measurement
  • The goals of description, classification and analysis
  • How to think forward and backward at the same time: the synchronisation of hypothesis, survey questions and statistical testing
Day Readings
1.1

Robert M. Groves, Floyd J. Fowler Jr., Mick P. Couper, James M. Lepkowski, Eleanor Singer, Roger Tourangeau (2009)
Survey Methodology
Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. – Chapter 2.

1.2

Survey Methodology Chapter 5; 9.

Edith D. de Leeuw, Joop J. Hox and Don A. Dillman (eds.) (2008)
International Handbook of Survey Methodology
Routledge. – Chapter 7; 11–16

2.1

Survey Methodology Chapter 7

International Handbook of Survey Methodology Chapter 2; 8–9

2.2

Survey Methodology Chapter 7

International Handbook of Survey Methodology Chapter 2

3.1

Survey Methodology Chapter 7

International Handbook of Survey Methodology Chapter 2; 8–9

3.2

Survey Methodology Chapter 6

International Handbook of Survey Methodology Chapter 3; 8–9

4.1

Survey Methodology Chapter 10

International Handbook of Survey Methodology Chapter 17

4.2

International Handbook of Survey Methodology Chapter 14

5.1

Survey Methodology Chapter 10

International Handbook of Survey Methodology Chapter 17; 19

5.2

International Handbook of Survey Methodology Chapter 18

Software Requirements

Please bring your own laptop with on which you have installed a text editor, such as Microsoft Word, with formatting options.

For the last day, you need Excel or another database manager, which we'll use to understand the structure of survey databases.

Statistical software like SPSS and STATA is good to have, but not necessary.

Hardware Requirements

Please bring your own laptop; either PC/Windows or Mac is fine.

Recommended Courses to Cover Before this One

Summer School

Knowing and the Known: The Philosophy and Methodology of the Social Sciences

Stats Refresher using Excel

Recommended Courses to Cover After this One

Summer School

Introduction to Inferential Statistics: What you need to know before you take regression

Multiple Regression Analysis: Estimation, Diagnostics, and Modelling

Intro to GLM: Binary, Ordered and Multinomial Logistic, and Count Regression Models