This course gives an overview of the design and implementation of surveys from the initial planning phase to the data preparation as a final step. Topics include survey mode assessment and selection, sampling frames and designs, nonresponse, interviewer effects, questionnaire design, cognitive pretesting,
assessing measurement errors and data editing. The course is taught from a Total Survey Error perspective weighing up data quality at each step of the process against associated costs.
The course is taught through formal lectures in which the theoretical foundation in the literature is discussed, less formal presentations and discussions of survey design in existing survey research as well as personal tutorial meetings that give participants the opportunity to discuss exercises and their own survey designs. Each day will discuss a specific topic that each focuses on one or more aspects of survey design within the Total Survey Error framework. First, the choice for the survey mode is discussed, and how different ways to sample respondents follow from that choice. On the second day the issue of survey nonresponse is treated. How to prevent, analyse and correct for it. On the third and fourth day the actual survey content is discussed. How to write survey questions, make sure they measure what they are intended to measure, test them, and finally, how to assess whether survey data are of good quality. On the final day we focus on data coding and maximizing quality. We conclude with an overview perspective of all survey errors and their interaction with survey costs.
The course will be applicable to surveys of individuals, households and organizations in different survey modes: mail, face-to-face, web and paper-and-pencil surveys.