Common Core: S.IC.3


Author: Jonathan Osters

This lesson will introduce surveys.

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Introduction to Statistics

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Video Transcription

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This tutorial is going to give you a brief introduction to surveys. Now, you've probably seen a survey before. A survey is a data gathering technique. It's an information collection tool and a lot of organizations use these. It allows them to target the specific information that they want.

And a store might use this to figure out about customers. Politicians might use it to figure out about constituents. Someone hiring might use a survey to figure out about their labor market and who they can hire and whose not available in that area or et cetera.

The survey design is also an important element. You want to get a representative sample of your population. So as with every sampling technique, it's all about the process and being able to get accurate data from a representative sample.

And just like with any sample, it's important to define what you're interested in. What are the variables that you want to measure? What information do you want people to provide in your survey? And this is going to be important because you want to know what you're going to use the information for. So if it's a survey about employment, you're going to want to ask about employment, former employment, current employment, and things like that.

Here's an example of a survey that a teacher might use at the end of the year for her students. So for instance, the course objectives been clearly outlined for me. This teacher wants to know whether or not she did a good job outlining course objectives.

And here she's asking about evaluating student work. And here is talking about academic challenge. And you'll notice that she's provided answer choices for each option, from strongly agree down to strongly disagree. And so this is an example of a survey. The teacher thought about all of the different things she wanted to learn from her students about her teaching and listed them all out.

So to recap, surveys are used to obtain data, they're used to obtain information from the population. It's important that you determine what you want to understand and why and for whom this is being collected. We talked about surveys, which are also called sample surveys. And we talked about variables of interest. Again, those are the things that you wanted to measure because you're interested in knowing them.

Good luck. And we'll see you next time.

  • Variables of Interest

    The variables the survey wishes to measure about those taking the survey.

  • Survey Design

    The way the survey is set up. This deals with wording of questions and answer choices.

  • Survey/Sample Survey

    A data collection tool that individuals in a study can fill out and return to the researcher.