Sociology | Topics in Methods and Measurement (Topic: Survey Research Methods)
S450 | 3699 | John Kennedy


Course Description:

This course introduces the students to the history, theories, and
methods of survey research.  The course focuses on the design,
development, execution, and analysis of surveys.  In particular,
survey sampling, question construction, questionnaire design,
computer-assisted interviewing techniques, survey data analysis, and
research ethics will be covered.  Multiple survey modes - in-person,
mail, Web, and telephone - will be included in the course.  In
addition, all students participate in the design and data collection
activities of an ongoing survey.

Course Overview:

The course begins by describing the various uses of survey research
but focuses on the development of sample surveys as a form of social
and behavioral science.  The second part of the course focuses on
survey design.  In this part, we cover the ethical issues survey
researchers often face.  I include research ethics not only because
it's the "right" thing to do but also because ethical considerations
are necessary for high quality data.  Good ethics is good design.  We
will continue to discuss ethical issues throughout the course.

We will spend a substantial amount of time discussing sampling
procedures for all modes of surveys.  I will not base the
presentations on mathematical or statistical sampling procedures.
Rather, sampling will be presented to help students understand the
importance of sampling procedures for data quality.

The next part of the course focuses on questionnaire design and
question development.  Again, the presentations will not be technical;
they will focus on helping students develop an appreciation of
communication skills in survey methods.  The course will finish with a
section on survey data analysis and presentation.

This course will cover the theoretical and intellectual bases of
surveys along with the practical issues of conducting surveys.    The
facilities of the Center for Survey Research will be used throughout
the course.  The students will have many opportunities to see how
surveys are conducted in a professional research environment.

At the end of the course, I expect that students will know both why
and how surveys are done.

Course Goals:

I developed this course to help students achieve four goals:
Learn the why, when, and how of surveys
Understand the scientific basis of survey design
Understand the practical issues in survey design	
Understand the ethical issues related to survey research.