Asking organized questions with a purpose
September 15, 2014
Survey: [v. ser-vey; n. sur-vey, ser-vey] (1) to take a general or comprehensive view of or appraise, as a situation, area of study, etc. (2) to view in detail, especially to inspect, examine, or appraise formally or officially in order to ascertain condition, value, etc.
This week for class, we needed to create a survey. Sounds easy, right? Well, there are a lot of things to consider so please hold off on your, “Yes, that sounds really easy!” comment.
What are the benefits to doing a survey? With regards to doing an online survey, it is both time efficient and cost effective. It also allows potential respondents flexibility with when they can participate. Online surveys also help those who are conducting research have less calculation errors since our information is automatically processed.
With positives also come negatives. Not everybody has access to the internet so we are limiting ourselves to only those who are present in the digital world. This has the ability to create a bias in our results. We also have to recognize that some potential respondents may have concerns about their privacy, security and anonymity.
Things to consider:
Will people be replying from a smartphone? Probably. My plan is to send out a link to my survey via social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. Many times, people are using these apps on their smartphones so it is very possible that when they click the link to the survey, they will be using their mobile device.
How will their technology affect my survey? If potential participants click my link from a smartphone device, they are going to be using their fingers to answer. I need to keep my survey simple or I will experience a drop off rate due to things such as frustration since it takes up a considerable amount of time to answer questions that require text to be inputed into a field.
What will be my reach? With posting the link on different social media platforms, I am hoping to reach people in many different geographical areas. Do the geographical areas have any type of correlation to how people answer my questions? That will be a piece of data that I am interested in analyzing.
Will my research be relevant to my followers? I wanted to make sure that my research was going to be something my friends would also have an interest in so that way they would not mind help me out by taking the survey. Twitter released a great analytical tool that tells you about your followers. Mine broke down as follows:
• Gender: 77% Male, 23% Female
• Most Unique Interests: Baseball, Sports, NFL Football, College Football, College Basketball
• Top Countries/States: United States: 70% (20% – Florida, 11% – California, 7% – New York), 13% – “Other,” %5 – United Kingdom, 2% – Canada
My topic: I am going to conduct a survey based on Major League Baseball. Not only will this appeal to my followers, but I love America’s Pastime so researching the thoughts and opinions of my fellow fans is of a high interest to me. How will baseball teach us anything cool? Well, MLB has been working hard for the last several years to develop a policy that works (Joint Drug Prevention & Treatment Program). So, we can tabulate the popular opinion on how this ongoing pursuit to rectify the image of the game is seen in the eyes of the fans. Do they think it is fair for players who violated the policy (some, years before the policy was even in place) to be eligible for the Hall of Fame? We can also address the new Instant Replay option that came to fruition at the beginning of this season. Do fans think Instant Replay has enhanced the game at all? Then, we can address a concern that has come to light within recent years; protective headgear for pitchers. Do fans think this unfortunate topic needs to be addressed after the past few years with athletes such as Brandon McCarthy, Alex Cobb and Aroldis Chapman–to name a few–sustaining serious blows to the head from a ball blasted off of a bat back to the mound? Lastly, what will Major League Baseball need to improve on in the future if the fans have it their way? MLB is on a quest to get the game, “right.” I am curious to see what my fellow lovers of the game think.