Fall 2022  |  PA 5933 Section 001: Survey Methods: Designing Effective Questionnaires (31658)

Class Component:
2 Credits
Grading Basis:
A-F only
Instructor Consent:
No Special Consent Required
Instruction Mode:
In Person Term Based
Enrollment Requirements:
Graduate Student
Times and Locations:
Regular Academic Session
09/06/2022 - 12/14/2022
Mon 11:15AM - 12:55PM
UMTC, West Bank
Hubert H Humphrey Center 30
Enrollment Status:
Open (12 of 25 seats filled)
Also Offered:
Course Catalog Description:
Applied (hands-on) introduction to survey questionnaire design. Student teams design a questionnaire for a real or imaginary client, typically a non-profit/NGO or governmental agency. For example, students may draft and revise questions about respondents' demographics and employment; life histories; knowledge, use, and opinions about services; and anxiety and well-being. The class will spend two weeks on each module, actively engaging in class about draft questions, and through that practice, learning how to improve them. Survey questions will be entered into SurveyToGo, an app used offline on Windows devices to collect data, and questionnaire will be tested on a small number of volunteers. Students will learn: - The process of questionnaire design in a team - Basic pitfalls of survey design - names, definitions, examples. - How to use Excel to track questions, coded responses, and prompts for interviewers - How to use interviewing software SurveyToGo This class is not a substitute for a comprehensive survey research class or a statistical course on sampling and weighting.
Class Notes:
Class Description:
This 2-credit full-semester class provides an applied (hands-on) introduction to designing survey questionnaires. Students will learn:

·How to design a questionnaire in a team
·Best practices for survey and question design.
·Basic pitfalls of survey design - names, definitions,examples.
·How to use Google Sheets to track questions, coded responses, and prompts for interviewers
·Some of us may learn to program survey software Qualtrics

This class is not the equivalent of a comprehensive survey research class (e.g. EPSY 5244 or PubH 6810) or a statistical course on sampling and weighting (e.g. STAT 5201). Instead, it takes a learning-by-doing approach to one part of the survey process: designing questions for a questionnaire.

Each time it is taught, students will design a questionnaire for a client. Part of the work will be in teams. In 2020 the client was a UMN doctoral student studying Black women who obtained PhDs in the US while raising biological, adoptive or foster children. In Spring 2022 the client was the Humphrey School: we designed an exit survey for graduating masters students. The client for Fall 2022 will again be the Humphrey School, this time with a survey focused on the economics of being a grad student. The need to work -- loans -- debt -- food insecurity -- housing insecurity -- these are all likely topics.

The syllabus will evolve depending in part on the needs of the client. A full syllabus will not be available at the beginning of class for this reason. The Spring 2022 syllabus (almost final) is attached.

Students will not conduct the survey, apart from test interviews.

Who Should Take This Class?:
Any graduate student.
Learning Objectives:
Grade break-down (approximate, to be revised slightly):

75% individual and team survey assignments - usually 10-11 assignments, writing and improving our client's survey questions
15% Individual: homework assignments, mini-quizzes and posts
15% Class participation, including group members grading each other
Exam Format:
Class Format:
Mini-lectures & discussions. The class is expected to take place in-person. It is possible that a small number of sessions will be remote.
Past Syllabi:
http://classinfo.umn.edu/syllabi/dlevison_PA5933_Spring2022.pdf (Spring 2022)
Instructor Supplied Information Last Updated:
25 April 2022

ClassInfo Links - Fall 2022 Public Affairs Classes Taught by Deborah Levison

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