Click on the following links. Please note these will open in a new window.
This exercise will show you what vast differences can be found in the quality of surveys. Not only do you need to become a good consumer of the information available on the Internet but you also need to become a good consumer of research. This exercise will also serve to introduce you to much of the survey data that is available on the Internet. You may wish to use some of it later for larger research projects.
This class activity consists of an online survey administered in a foreign country. Students write survey questions using Internet-based survey programs, and the instructor pastes the survey link to Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, an online platform for recruiting and paying research subjects. The project is useful for including an international and/or cross-cultural component for research methods classes. Students learn not only the basics of survey construction, administration, and analysis, but also the difficulties, limitations, and excitement in collecting data in a multicultural context in which English is typically a second language. After completing the different steps in the survey, students learn about survey design, construct and external validity, sampling, response coding, table construction, and basic statistical analysis (i.e., frequencies and chi-square). The survey is administered in India since the country has a large number of “Turkers” who complete “Human Intelligent Tasks” (HITs). Any country with a larger number of Turker is feasible. The details of this class activity are based on Qualtrics but other Internet-based survey software, like SuveyMonkey, should also work. The online survey could be a stand-alone activity, or part of a larger semester-long, research project.
Your text includes guidelines for designing surveys, and you should familiarize yourself with that material. The following brief list describes the most common errors I have encountered in surveys designed by beginners. After you draft your survey, check to see if you have made any of the following common errors.