Survey Training Course Curriculum

This page presents the survey training course curriculum for our Survey Design and Data Analysis Workshops. Click on the section headers to see the questions that will be answered during the workshop.

Survey Design Workshop Detailed Curriculum

DAY 1

Survey Project Management

  • Definition of a scientific survey and key terminology
  • Types of surveys: periodic (relationship), transaction-driven, one-time ad-hoc
  • Key stages of a survey project and requirements of the project manager
  • Factors that support success in a survey project
  • Exercise: Developing a Statement of Purpose and how it drives the project flow

Questionnaire Design (Instrument Design)

  • The questionnaire design process: The steps to follow
  • Types of questions: demographic, attitudinal, and attributes of the relationship being measured
  • How to identify the questions needed on the survey to achieve the research objectives:
    • Role of focus groups, interviews, and other research techniques
  • Criticality of pilot testing (pre-tests)
  • Critical issues in design of a valid questionnaire:
    • Identifying common errors in question construction that lead to instrumentation bias, e.g., double-barrel questions, ambiguous wording, recall expectations, loaded wording
  • Elements of a questionnaire: Introductions, instructions, initiation, section headings, and closings.  Formatting a questionnaire.
  • Question sequencing and branching
  • Controlling for biases the respondent brings to the process: response bias
  • Exercises:  Identifying attributes to measure on a survey and classifying them
    • Critiquing a Survey Instrument (with lots of problems)
    • Developing Scales
    • Drafting survey questions
DAY 2

Questionnaire Design (cont.)

  • Review of various question formats (open-ended text, multiple choice, ordinal, interval, and ratio) and their effective use
  • Impact of question format on data analysis potential
  • Creating interval-rating scales and anchor selection, including Likert scales (or Likert-type scales).  Key considerations in scale construction.
  • Special topics: Techniques for generating actionable data and measuring importance

Administration of the Survey Questionnaire

  • Comparison of the advantages and disadvantages of the various administration methods:
    • Telephone surveys, IVR surveys, postal mail surveys, email surveys, and online web surveys (Internet surveys)
  • Discussion of administration biases and how to minimize them
  • Impact of mobile surveys
  • Response rate requirements for statistically valid results
  • Statistical confidence given a number of responses
  • Create the survey sample: Review of various sampling techniques
  • Techniques to increase response rates and minimize non-response bias
  • Specific issues and concerns for telephone and online survey administration methods

Attendees’ Questionnaire Critique

As a hands-on workshop, attendees are encouraged to bring a draft or sample of a survey questionnaire from their organizations. On Day 2, these instruments are critiqued by the group, delivering immediate feedback and improvement — and allowing the group to exercise their new-found skills on real questionnaires.

Teaching Approach. The Workshop uses lecture, discussion, and experiential exercises to provide the attendees with actionable learning that can be immediately applied back in the workplace. (People have different learning styles, so a blend of teaching styles works best.)

Attendees of the workshop also receive a complimentary copy of Dr. Van Bennekom’s Customer Surveying Guidebook.

Survey Data Analysis Workshop Detailed Curriculum

DAY 1

Analysis of the Survey Data

  • What to do before you start analysis: Setting up the spreadsheet and data cleansing
  • The statistical procedure to answer questions you hope to get answered from the survey analysis
  • Generating the basic, descriptive statistics using Excel® (mean, mode, median, frequency distributions, etc.)
  • Bivariate and multivariate statistical analysis options with specific treatment of correlation and regression analysis
  • Determining whether survey scores across groups are significantly significant differences: t-tests and Chi-square tests
  • Pivot tables to generate analysis along demographic segmentation
  • Determining what drove the respondents’ views of the organization using correlation and regression
  • The hands-on part of the Data Analysis day is focused on attendees analyzing their own data set. Bring your laptop and a data set and you will apply the techniques we learn. Don’t have a data set yet? We will have a sample data set that you can analyze. As noted above, we have learned that most people are not comfortable doing this analysis in the group setting. But you are certainly welcome to do the analysis.
  • Please note: this day of survey data analysis is not a substitute for a college-level statistics class. In teaching this part of the class we assume some basic understanding of Excel and statistics. We focus on how to execute analysis of a survey data set to answer key questions, but time does not allow getting to the theory behind the statistical procedure.

Presentation of the Results

  • Ideas for organizing the data and management report for maximum effect
  • Charts that work for each question type.
  • Good graphic design practices that keep the reader focused on content, not technique

Teaching Approach. The Workshop uses lecture, discussion, and experiential exercises to provide the attendees with actionable learning that can be immediately applied back in the workplace.  (People have different learning styles, so a blend of teaching styles works best.)

Attendees of the workshop also receive a complimentary copy of Dr. Van Bennekom’s Customer Surveying Guidebook.