Friday, March 21, 2008

The Art of Survey

I am taking Communication Research as a requirement for my Mass Comm. degree. The class is okay, a lot of reading and short papers. This past week, however, I have really enjoyed the work we are doing.

The topic is surveys. I've created surveys before, whether for class or journalistic research, but I didn't understand how much thought goes into the "real" surveys out there. It's intense how much work goes into how a question is worded or what type of questions and how answers will be coded. We've looked at examples of good questions and bad questions, and how to present the surveys so potential respondents will most likely turn them in.

My favorite part has been learning about the Likert scale, which is the kind of questions you see on those political compass questionnaires (Do you Strongly disagree, disagree, neither agree nor disagree, etc).

I think an ongoing theme in this course has been learning about and respecting just how much work goes into the research stage of any given campaign. I may not intend to go into communication research directly, but the field is fascinating.

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