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Surveys
Common Core: S.IC.3

Surveys

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Description:

This lesson will introduce surveys.

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Tutorial

What's Covered

This tutorial will briefly introduce you to surveys, demonstrating the following concepts:

  1. Introduction to Surveys
  2. Survey Design

1. INTRODUCTION TO SURVEYS

A survey is a data gathering technique. It's an information collection tool and a lot of organizations use these. Surveys allow organizations a way to gather data so that they can target the specific information that they want.

Term to Know

Survey/Sample Survey

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

IN CONTEXT

A store might use a survey to figure out something about its customers. Politicians might use a survey to gather information about their constituents. Someone hiring for a position in a company might use a survey to learn more about their labor market, who they can hire, and who is not available in that area, et cetera.

In all of these examples, the survey is a tool being used to increase the amount of specific information someone has. And for each survey, the researcher has selected the variables that he or she is interested in gathering data on.

Term to Know

Variables of Interest

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


2. SURVEY DESIGN

A survey must be carefully designed to elicit the intended information.

Term to Know

Survey Design

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

The survey design is an important element of surveys. If you are designing a survey, you want to get a representative sample of your population. So as with every sampling technique, designing a survey is all about the process and being able to get accurate data from a representative sample.

Big Idea

Just like with any sample, it's important to define what you're interested in before you begin surveying.

Brainstorm

You might ask yourself: What are the variables that you want to measure? What information do you want people to provide in your survey? Answering these question is is going to be important because those answers will help you understand the purpose of the information you generate with your survey.

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.


ExampleHere's an example of a survey that a teacher might use at the end of the year for her students:

This teacher wants to know whether or not she did a good job outlining course objectives. This survey asks about evaluating student work and academic challenge. You'll notice that she's provided answer choices from strongly agree to strongly disagree. The teacher thought about all of the different things she wanted to learn from her students including her teaching and listed them all in her survey. The information she gathers from this survey will help her answer the question of how clearly she outlined her course objectives for her students.


Summary

So to recap, surveys are used to obtain data or information from the population. It's important that you determine what you want to understand and why and for whom this is being collected, which may impact survey design. 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.

Thank you and good luck!

Source: THIS WORK IS ADAPTED FROM SOPHIA AUTHOR JONATHAN OSTERS

TERMS TO KNOW
  • Survey/Sample Survey

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

  • Survey Design

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

  • Variables of Interest

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