Conducting Online Surveys

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Online surveys provide promising research opportunities in today's technological world. Conducting Online Surveys presents a comprehensive guide to the creation, implementation, and analysis of e-mail and Web-based surveys. Authors Valerie M. Sue and Lois A. Ritter specifically address issues unique to online survey research, such as selecting software, designing Web-based questionnaires, and sampling from online populations.

Key Features: Gives practical guidance: The book offers guidelines for the successful creation and implementation of Internet surveys. Focuses on online survey research: While this text covers topics common to all survey research, such as writing project objectives, drafting valid and reliable survey questions, and presenting results, it focuses mainly on specific online survey issues such as survey software and survey research ethics. Provides comprehensive coverage: Most other research texts contain chapters that address only the online administration of surveys; this book fills a considerable niche in the methodological literature by providing complete information all in one book. Evaluates the advantages and disadvantages of online surveys: The authors discuss when it is appropriate to use an online survey, how to write questions for an online environment, which sampling strategies to employ, and how to use commercial survey software and Web-hosting services.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781412937535
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications
  • Publication date: 3/13/2007
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Valerie M. Sue is a Senior Consultant in the Internet Services Group at Kaiser Permanente (KP). She manages online survey projects for KP and is one of the lead developers of KP’s online member research panel. Prior to working at KP, Sue was an Associate Professor of Communication at California State University, East Bay, where she taught Communication theory, research methods, and survey research courses and was director of the Communication Department’s graduate program. She has also authored numerous journal articles and delivered presentations at the conferences of the International Communication Association, American Evaluation Association, and the American Public Health Association. Sue is a graduate of Stanford University, where she earned a Ph D in communication.

Lois A. Ritter is an assistant professor in the Nursing and Health Sciences Department at California State University, East Bay and a consultant in public health and education. She teaches courses in community health and research methods and has extensive experience in program planning and evaluation. She earned a doctorate in education from the University of San Francisco, and three masters degrees in health science, anthropology, and health care administration. Her research interests are in health information technology and community and multicultural health.

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Table of Contents

List of Tables & Figures     viii
Preface     xi
Purpose     xi
Audience     xii
Organization     xii
Acknowledgments     xii
Introduction     1
What Is a Survey?     1
Why Is a Book Specific to Online Survey Research Needed?     3
When Should an Online Survey Be Used?     4
Online Survey Studies     6
Summary     9
Planning the Online Survey     10
E-Mail Surveys     10
Internet/Intranet (Web Page) Surveys     12
What to Consider When Buying Survey Software and Selecting a Web Survey Host     13
Survey Objectives     18
Survey Timelines     20
Survey Research Ethics     21
Summary     24
Sampling     25
Populations and Samples     25
Sampling Techniques for Internet Surveys     27
Sources of Error in Online Surveys     35
Summary     37
Writing Survey Questions     38
General Considerations     38
Validity of Measurement     39
Respondent-Centered Threats to Validity     39
Question Formatand Wording     42
Level of Measurement     53
Demographic Questions     54
Pretesting     58
Summary     58
Designing and Developing the Survey Instrument     59
Questionnaire Design     59
Making Your Survey Accessible to Everyone     84
Ensuring That Participants Respond Only Once     86
Summary     87
Conducting the Survey     88
Methods of Recruitment     88
Increasing the Response Rate     93
Thank-You Notes     98
Summary     98
Processing and Analyzing the Survey Data     99
Planning for Data Analysis     99
Tracking the Surveys     101
Creating a Codebook for E-Mail Surveys     102
Data Cleaning     106
Data Transformation     108
Descriptive Statistics     109
Inferential Statistics     112
Summary     121
Reporting the Survey Results     122
Preliminary Considerations     122
Format of a Survey Report     123
Oral Presentations     128
Poster Session Presentations     133
Visual Aids      137
Matching Survey Results to Type of Display     147
Distributing Results Using a Web-Based Survey Development Tool     147
Summary     148
Concluding Comments     149
Opportunities and Challenges in Online Survey Research     149
Benefits of Online Surveys     150
The Future of Online Survey Research     151
Resource Guide     152
Probability Sampling Review for Closed Populations     167
Basic Demographic Questionnaire     170
Sample E-Mail Invitation     172
Sample Snail Mail Invitation     173
Review of Basic Summary Statistics     174
Sample of SurveyMonkey's Basic Results Report     179
Glossary     181
References     185
Index     188
About the Authors     194
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