Chapter 8: Data Collection Methods: Survey Research

Learning Objectives

  • Define survey research.
  • Differentiate between a survey and a questionnaire.
  • Identify the strength and weakness of survey research.
  • Distinguish between the various types of surveys.
  • Identify the various ways to administer a survey, and understand the limitations of each survey method of administration.
  • Describe the characteristics of an effective survey question.
  • Describe the characteristics of an effective survey.

In this chapter we will cover the collection of research data through the survey methods. It is most likely that you have participated in a survey at one time or another; accordingly, you probably have a fairly good idea of what a survey is. However, constructing a good survey requires more technique than meets the eye. Survey design takes a great deal of thoughtful planning, and often many rounds of revision, to get it just right, but it is worth the effort. As you will learn in this chapter, there are many benefits to choosing survey research as your method of data collection; specifically: what a survey is, what the benefits and drawbacks of this method are, how to construct a survey, and what to do with survey data once you have it in hand.