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Key Steps to running a survey. Aims and Objectives Have clear aims and objectives for the project. Ensure you know what you want to get out of the survey.

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Presentation on theme: "Key Steps to running a survey. Aims and Objectives Have clear aims and objectives for the project. Ensure you know what you want to get out of the survey."— Presentation transcript:

1 Key Steps to running a survey

2 Aims and Objectives Have clear aims and objectives for the project. Ensure you know what you want to get out of the survey at the beginning of the project and NOT at the end.

3 Existing Information/Research Find out what information already exists about your topic. Existing sources, particularly secondary data can be used to support, add to or provide a new way at looking at the primary data you have collected or are about to collect. Australian Bureau of Statistics Government Organisations Private studies

4 Surveys Four common forms of collection methodologies Interviews Observation Questionnaires Experimental Research.

5 In-depth Interviews Interviews are useful if you need a lot of detailed information

6 In-depth Interviews Appropriate for small numbers of people Use open-ended questions Provide explanatory and evaluative research For example Investigating attitudes towards refugees

7 Interview checklist

8 Clarify Objectives Be clear about the purpose of the interview

9 Example

10 Overall structure Note down the major issues you would like to discuss. Structure your questions around each issue you want to address

11 Example

12 Specific structure Start with introductory questions – easy to answer and provide specific information about the person Next use broad-based questions that allow the respondent to talk more freely and openly about the issue. Finish with follow up questions which pick up on particular issues.

13 Example



16 Closure Ask your respondent if there is anything he or she would like to add.

17 Example

18 Observation Observation research is concerned with looking at or observing some form of behaviour

19 Used to study.. Peoples use of a place or service Situations where communication is difficult. Antisocial or illegal behaviour Things that are essentially visual (e.g. art, fashion, displays etc.)

20 Stages in an Observation Project

21 Choose a site Choose and inspect a site that will provide suitable conditions for observation

22 Observation point Make sure you see the entire site from your observation point Explore if the observation point will effect your results

23 Time period Choice of time important as variations in the use of the site might be effected by time of the year, week, or day.

24 Continuous observation or spot counts Continuous counting gives a complete picture but requires a great deal of time. Spot counts involves counting involved counting the number of people present at particular times. How often you undertake observations depends on the rate of change in the use of the site.

25 Decide what to observe numbers activities user characteristics.

26 Divide site into zones If you are observing a large area you may need to create zones and you might need to get help with the observation.

27 Example

28 Data recording sheet Design a data recording sheet before you carry out the observation It should be designed so you can quickly record your observations.

29 Example

30 Conduct observation Observation is straightforward if well planned Video or photography may be helpful Be safe

31 Analyze results Tables Graphs Calculation of percentages and averages

32 Questionnaire Surveys Questionnaires involve the gathering of information from people using a formally designed set of questions

33 When to use questionnaire surveys Public opinion (e.g. opinions about Muslims wearing head scarfes) User profile (e.g. Use of school gym) Group profile (e.g. Young people and social networking)

34 Questionnaire surveys Decide what information is required and from whom.

35 Types of Survey Household survey Street survey Telephone survey Mail survey Site or user survey Captive group survey

36 Questionnaires can be Interviewer-completed Respondent-completed

37 Sampling The best results are obtained when you are able to collect data from the entire population Sample needs to be representative of your target population (e.g. migrants, students at Nazareth, women under 30, etc. )

38 Sample size While sample size is important (50 is an appropriate number for the research you will need to carry out for school) the key factor is getting a representative sample.

39 Types of Sampling

40 Random Sampling One of the best ways to achieve representativeness. Selecting respondents so all members of the population as far as possible has the same chance of being chosen. The aim is to avoid bias.

41 Quota Sampling Nature of the population is used in the sample selection process

42 Example

43 The questionnaire

44 Wording of questions Use simple language Avoid ambiguity Avoid leading questions Ask one question at a time

45 Inform the potential respondent about Nature and purpose of the survey The name of the organisation carrying out the research Confidentiality of the data.

46 Example

47 Types of questions Pre-coded and Open-ended Questions Factual, Opinion and Attitude Questions

48 Ordering the questions Start with easy questions Relevant questions Personal questions

49 Examples

50 Open-ended factual

51 Pre-coded factual



54 Open-ended Opinion

55 Observe factual

56 Present and analyze the results Tables Graphs Calculation of percentages and averages

57 Example

58 Experimental Research Experimental Research is concerned with testing a hypothesis.

59 Examples Assessing the effects of lack of light in plant growth Exploring the effects of watching excessive amounts of TV on student achievement in year 12.

60 Report & Presentation Report on your findings and give a presentation if required. Note any problems encountered which may affect the interpretation of the results. Refer to original objective to see if it has been met.

61 References Hayllar, B. & Veal T., 1996, Pathways to Research, Rigby Heinemann, Port Melbourne

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