Course 7: Web Survey Design

Lecturers: Prof. Mick P. Couper, Dr. Ines Schaurer

Date: 13-17 August 2018
Time: 9:00-13:00, 14:00-16:00

Short Course Description:

The primary focus of the course is on helping participants design the best possible survey instruments for online data collection. The course will review the extensive empirical literature on the effects of design on measurement error in Web surveys, and provide practical examples and advice to maximize the quality of the data collected. Participants are encouraged to bring their own Web survey projects to class. The instructors will be using LimeSurvey (open source software) to demonstrate various design issues.

Course Prerequisites:

Familiarity with survey research methods.

Target Group:

Participants will find the course useful if:

  • They are designing or conducting online surveys or planning to do so;
  • They have some experience with (or knowledge of) questionnaire design.
  • The course will be particularly relevant for those with some prior experience with surveys in general, and Web surveys in particular.

    Course and Learning Objectives:

    By the end of the course participants will:

    • Be able to design a Web survey to maximize the quality of the survey responses collected;
    • Be familiar with the research literature and relevant theories on measurement error in Web surveys;
    • Understand the role that design plays in the quality of data obtained from Web surveys.
    • Identify gaps in the methodological literature and design studies to address these gaps.

      Organizational Structure of the Course:

      The classroom time will consist of about 4 hours of lecture and discussion on various aspects of Web survey design, followed by about 2 hours of structured demonstration time and hands-on practice working with the LimeSurvey software to implement these ideas. In addition:

      • During the hand-on practice, participants can work on their own design projects. If they do not have a project, the instructors will provide an example survey to work on;
      • The instructors will be available for individual and group consultations on participants’ projects and provide support on using LimeSurvey to develop and deploy a Web survey during the course.

      Software and Hardware Requirements:

      Course participants will need to bring a web-enabled laptop computer for performing practical exercises for this course. Respondents who plan to use LimeSurvey should register for a LimeSurvey account that is free of charge beforehand.