For this unit, we will be conducting surveys (completing research and generating data by designing questionnaires), analyzing the results, and presenting the results both in writing and through visuals (images, charts, graphs, and/or infographics, etc.). The first step of this process will involve designing a survey that can be conducted through SurveyMonkey (if you have another survey platform in mind that you want to use, you can run it by me, but this is the recommended platform for our purposes this unit).
Your survey should be designed to address a particular issue, question, or concern that can be effectively explored by getting feedback and survey results from a range of respondents. Ideally, this issue should be related to your academic and professional interests: can you imagine yourself in the workplace and think of the sort of survey you might conduct there? Is there a specific issue in your major or in a specific class that you could address? If you have trouble deciding on an issue relevant to your academic and professional interests, you are welcome to conduct a survey that addresses something outside of these spheres (we’ll ultimately be most interested in how we design the survey and how we analyze and share the results of the survey, so content isn’t as essential for this assignment). Regardless of what direction you go, you should design your survey for an audience who can actually complete it (e.g., other students at Bonaventure, professors, friends on Facebook, etc.).
The proposal should begin by articulating the larger thinking behind the survey. What issue do you want to address? How is this issue relevant? How is a survey a good approach to understanding this issue? What audience(s) do you want to target through your survey? What will be the best way to get this target audience to complete the survey – what’s the best way to request participation? What sort of action would you hope to be able to take based on the results of the survey in order to address the issue?
For the next part of the paper, draft the questions and prompts you want to include in the survey and the letter or public notice you will use to request participation. For the survey, if you have any questions where you want to provide specific answer choices, include those answer choices as well. Be mindful of the range of questions it would help to include. Do you want to get demographic information so that you can look at results in relation to age, gender, major, academic year, etc.? Do you want to give respondents an opportunity to write out further comments in response to any question? For the participation request, be mindful of informing potential respondents about the survey, establishing a deadline, and making a gesture toward a privacy statement (probably just noting that all results are anonymous and that there is no privacy risk). In other words, be mindful generally of what you would want to know if you were receiving such a request.
There is not a specific length requirement for the proposal, but your introductory overview should be a substantial paragraph or two, and you should have a complete draft of your survey questions. We should aim for at least 7-10 questions to make sure we’re getting some substantial results to analyze; you can include more, but be mindful of finding a balance between asking all of the question you think would be helpful and not asking so many questions that it discourages respondents from completing the survey. You should email me your proposal and bring a hard or electronic copy with you to class the day it is due.