Spring 2022  |  PA 5933 Section 001: Survey Methods: Designing Effective Questionnaires (66726)

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
01/18/2022 - 05/02/2022
Mon 04:00PM - 05:40PM
UMTC, West Bank
Blegen Hall 330
Enrollment Status:
Open (11 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, student teams will design a questionnaire for a client. 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 2022 the client will be the Humphrey School, which needs an exit survey for graduating masters students.

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 2020 syllabus (final) is attached, but note that readings related to understanding respondents will be lighter in 2022.

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

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

60% Teams: ten items by @ 6% each - first drafts; second drafts with tracked changes. (#1-10)
5% Teams: turn in final questionnaire in Excel (#11)
5% Individual: cognitive interviewing memo re: pilot test of survey questions
15% Individual: posts & mini-quizzes
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_Fall2022.pdf (Fall 2022)
Instructor Supplied Information Last Updated:
31 October 2021

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