Web Exercises

Click on the following links. Please note these will open in a new window.

1. What can you learn about sampling on the Web? Conduct a search on “sampling” and “population” and select a few of these sites. List a few new points that you learn about sampling.

2. Go to the INFOMINE Scholarly Internet Resource Collections website at http://infomine.ucr.edu/. Search for five resources of information on crime or victimization. Briefly describe your sources and list the Web sites where they can be found. How do these sources of information differ in their approaches to collecting information? Do they report the sampling information? What statistics do they present? Do they report the sampling method used in the studies from which they obtained these statistics? What sampling methods were used? Evaluate the sampling methods in terms of representativeness and generalizability. How would you improve on the sampling methods to increase the representativeness and generalizability of the data? If no sampling methods are mentioned, propose one that would have been appropriate to obtain the statistics.

3. Check out some of the data sets collected by the Bureau of Justice Statistics: www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/. Select a data set and describe the sampling procedures used to collect the data.

4. Visit the U.S. Census Bureau’s website www.census.gov. What is the current U.S. population according to the population clock? How would you construct a sampling frame for collecting data on the U.S. population? How does that sampling frame differ from a census? What are the benefits and drawbacks of taking a sample versus conducting a census?

5. Choose a research publication from the Bureau of Labor Statistics website (www.bls.gov). How do they define the population? What is their sampling frame? What sampling strategy is used? Is the sample generalizable to the population? 

6. Sampling is a large part of survey research and many people spend their careers dedicated to this particular part of research. Go to the Joint Program in Survey Methodology (JPSM)’s website (http://jointprogram.umd.edu/about) to examine the types of academic courses available in this area, and the careers that put this knowledge to applied practice.