Survey Research

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SURVEY RESEARCH




Chapter Outline


  1. Introduction
  2. Learning Objectives
  3. Survey Research: Meaning and Nature
  4. Types of Survey Research
    1. General Survey Vs Specific Survey
    2. Census Survey Vs Sample Survey
    3. Regular Survey Vs Ad hoc Survey
    4. Preliminary Survey Vs Final Survey
    5. Longitudinal Survey
    6. Cross – Sectional Survey
    7. Comparative Survey
    8. Evaluative Survey
    9. Documentary Survey
  5. Steps of Conducting Survey Research
  6. Advantages and Disadvantages of survey method#Let Us Sum Up
  7. References and further reading
  8. Key Words
  9. Answers to check your progress





Introduction


In the previous unit, you studied about the concept and meaning of research, and different types of social science researches and the difference between qualitative and quantitative research. You also studied briefly about descriptive and inferential studies. The present topic focuses exclusively on survey method, which is of descriptive type in nature. In social science researches many a time’s beginning researchers as well as experienced researchers undertake survey studies. It is because; it allows the researcher to know and understand the field in a better manner. Survey studies conducted for different purposes, and based on it the types varies. The present unit discusses about different types of survey study and its relevance and use in the context of social science researches.




Learning Objectives
After reading this chapter, you are expected to learn about:


After studying and working through the activities in this unit, you are expected to be able to:

  • Describe survey method;
  • List different survey methods;
  • Discuss different survey methods;
  • List out the steps to carry out different survey methods; and
  • Describe the advantages and disadvantages of survey method.




Survey Research: Meaning and Nature


Survey studies are usually used to find the fact by collecting the data directly from population or sample. It is the most commonly used descriptive method in educational researches. The researcher collects the data to describe the nature of existing condition or look forward the standards against existing condition or determine the relationships that exists between specific events.
Many a time survey study intends to understand and explain the phenomena in a natural setting or provide information to government / other organization or compare different demographic groups or see the cause and effect relationship to make predictions. For this it requires responses directly from respondents of large population in general. The kind of information requires decides the coverage of geographical area for data collection and whether it is a extensive or intensive one. Extensive survey carried out when researcher want to make generalization, whereas intensive survey is done for making estimation. Survey researches demands various tools to collect the data from samples. They are ranging from observation, interview to questionnaire. So the kind of survey study needed for any study is based on its purpose, nature of data and population and sample of the study.



Self-Assessment Questions (SAQs) -1
Notes:

(i)Write your answer in about 50 words in the space given.
(ii)Compare your answer with the model answer given in the Answer section.

(1) What do you mean by survey research?





TYPES OF SURVEY RESEARCH


The ability of the researcher lies in selecting the type of survey method suited to their study. The selection is based on the purpose of the study, method of data collection and time frame. The methods are given below.


GENERAL Vs SPECIFIC SURVEYS


General surveys generally involve collecting information about population, institutions or phenomena without any specific objective or hypothesis. These surveys are usually taken up by the government for providing regular data on socio – economic problems. Census is general survey. Specific surveys data collection based on certain specified objectives or hypothesis. These kind of surveys taken up by any institution specific to their problem, or individual surveys for their academic work.

CENSUS Vs SAMPLE SURVEYS


We already mentioned census survey is a kind of general survey. But the unique characteristic of census survey is, it collects data from all the members of the population. Sample survey is just opposite to census survey. Here the data is collected from few samples from the population. It can be general or specific. Sample surveys saves time and money when compare to census survey if the samples are truly represent the population.

REGULAR Vs AD HOC SURVEYS


Regular survey by name indicates that it conducted in regular interval of time, but Ad hoc surveys are conducted once for all. Regular Surveys gives the longitudinal data / information about the core issues as well as special issues which are taken for research work. Ad hoc surveys limited to any one issue and deal it with a specific time point.

PRELIMINARY Vs FINAL SURVEYS


Preliminary Survey generally conducted before taking up a wide sample survey. By this, the tool can be improved based on the responded data. Generally in research work pilot study conducted for this purpose. The data collected from the improvised tool based on preliminary survey is the final survey.

LONGITUDINAL SURVEY


In longitudinal survey the phenomena is observed or data collected in different period of time. In this survey the changes in the phenomena at different point of time is also been observed. Here the revisiting the population and posing similar kind of queries and getting data from the population gives the transitory state of the data. For example, the health condition of the people with respect to their environment of a particular place is observed over 2 to 3 year, the data collected in different period of time. The change in health condition with respect to change in environment over a period of time, help the researcher to see the casual relationship between these two.

CROSS SECTIONAL SURVEYS


In cross sectional survey observation of sample done one point in time and the data is collected provides the description of population feature. These studies focus the relationship between different variables at a point in time. For instance, the relationship between income, locality, and personal expenditure. The cross-sectional analysis relates to how variables affect each other at the same time.

COMPARITIVE SURVEY STUDY


In this survey, the status of two variable or instituition of same population is compared. For example two distance education study centres of the same region is compared with respect to its enrolment, achievement and other variables.

EVALUATIVE SURVEY


Evaluative surveys are usually conducted to evaluate any program or any implementation of scheme which is already done by the organisation or government. For example, an accrediation body allowed to start new institution throughout the nation, after a particular period, it intends to know the impact of these new new institutions with respect to the specific education, and the effectiveness of these institutions with respect to the expected outcome. The outcomes of the study help the accreditation body to formulate future policies for better output.

DOCUMENTATION SURVEY


In documentary survey variety of information resources are used to answer the research question. These sources can be workshop material, books, official records, articles from the news paper, hand outs, brouchers, institutional reports, individual experiences etc. These surveys are used to analyse the present events based on the records available to the researcher.


Self-Assessment Questions (SAQs) -2
Notes:

(i)Write your answer in about 50 words in the space given.
(ii)Compare your answer with the model answer given in the Answer section.

(1) When do you go for Longitudinal Survey Research?




(2) Differentiate Census and sample survey.




(3) When do we go for pilot study?




(4) Describe about Evaluative study.




Answer the multiple questions below by identifying the correct answers:
(5)Ad hoc surveys are conducted

   (a)	In a regular interval of time
(b) Once for all
(c) For specified objectives
(d) Both (a) and (c)

(6)In cross sectional surveys

   (a)	Data is collected in one point of time
(b) Data is collected in different point of time
(c) It focuses one variable at a point in time
(d) It focuses how variables affected in different point of time




STEPS OF CONDUCTING SURVEY RESEARCH


Eventhough each survey type varies with respect to the mode of data collection and tools used, the steps involved in data collection is more or less similar form. The steps are

    1.	Selection of the problem and defining objective
    2.	Deciding the information needed 
    3.	Research Design
    4.	Operationalisation of concepts and construction of measuring indexes and scales
    5.	Sampling
    6.	Construction of tools for collection of data and their pre – test
    7.	Field work and collection of data
    8.	Processing of data and tabulation
    9.	Analysis of data
   10.	Reporting
ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF SURVEY METHOD


ADVANTAGES


   1.	It gives the opportunity to researcher to see the reality more closely, inference are 
       not based on theory or dogma but it is based on facts.
   2.	It leads greater objectivity.
   3.	It leads to the introduction of new theory. For example, poverty was regarded as the 
       cause of crime for fairly long time but increasing crime in advanced countries has  
       falsified this theory.
   4.	It helps to know the social situation.
   5.	The important aspect of survey study is its versatility. It is the only practical way 
       to collect many types of information from individuals, such as personal    
       characteristics, socio-economic data, attitudes, opinions, experiences and expectations.
   6.	Facilitates to draw generalisations about population on the basis of data from 
       representative sample.
   7.	It is flexible and allows various methods of collection of data.
   8.	It sensitizes the researcher to unanticipated or unknown problems. 
   9.	It is useful in verifying theories.
DISADVANTAGES


   1.	It requires training for those who collect information, which demands more financial 
       source.
   2.	It is time consuming process, if the universe is large.
   3.	Its reliability and validity is based on the honesty and efficiency of the survey 
       workers.
   4.	Survey mostly based on samples, so always there is a possibility of sampling error.
   5.	As data is collected from primary sources, the feasibility is depends upon the 
       willingness and cooperation of the respondents.
   6.	There is a possibility of response error, due to respondents’ untrue / misleading 
       answers.


Self-Assessment Questions (SAQs) -3
Notes:

(i)Write your answer in about 50 words in the space given.
(ii)Compare your answer with the model answer given in the Answer section.

(1)List the steps to conduct a survey study.




(2)Write any three advantages of conducting survey study.




(3) What are the disadvantages in conducting survey studies?







Results





Key Points

The key points of this chapter are as follows:



Practice Test






Answers to SAQs


SAQ-I (1)Survey research studies are used to collect the data directly from population or sample to

  describe the nature of existing condition or look forward the standards against existing 
  condition or determine the relationships that exists between specific events. It uses 
  various tools to collect the data from population or samples. They are ranging from 
  observation, interview to questionnaire. 

SAQ-II (1)When the data is required to collect at different period time, because the changes in the

  phenomena at different point of time is needed to be observed. So by revisiting the 
  population or sample and posing similar kind of queries and getting data from the population 
  or sample gives the transitory state of the data.

(2)Census survey is collects the data from all the members of the population, where as the

  sample survey is collects the data from few samples which are true representative of that 
  population. The data is collected from census survey is general in nature, whereas sample 
  survey may be general or specific in nature.

(3)When we wanted to go for wider sample survey, it is better to go for pilot study. Because,

  it will help to improve the quality of instrument by which the data is going to be 
  collected. If pilot study is not done, there may be possibility of missing some information 
  which exists in the field. 

(4)Evaluative survey studies are usually conducted to evaluate any program or scheme which is

  already implemented by government or any other organization. By this kind of survey studies 
  the government or organizations can take appropriate measures in improving and implementing 
  future policies.

(5)(a) If your answer is a then, you have got it wrong. Because Ad hoc surveys conducted

      once for all.
  (b) is the right answer, because Ad hoc surveys conducted once for all.
  (c) If you have answered c, then you are partially right. But, even regular surveys can 
      have specified objectives.
  (d) If your answer is d then, you have got it wrong. Because Ad hoc surveys conducted
      once for all.

(6)(a) is the right answer.

  (b) If your answer is b then, you have got it wrong. Because in cross sectional surveys 
      data is collected in one point of time.
  (c) If your answer is c then, you have got it wrong. Because, it focus the relationship 
      between different variables at a point in time.
  (d) If your answer is d then, you have got it wrong. Because, it focus the relationship 
      between different variables at a point in time.

SAQ – III (1)

    i.	Selection of the problem and defining objective
   ii.	Deciding the information needed 
  iii. Research Design
   iv.	Operationalisation of concepts and construction of measuring indexes and scales
    v.	Sampling
   vi.	Construction of tools for collection of data and their pre – test
  vii.	Field work and collection of data
 viii.	Processing of data and tabulation
   ix.	Analysis of data
    x.	Reporting

(2)

   a.	It gives the opportunity to researcher to see the reality more closely, inference are 
       not based on theory or dogma but it is based on facts.
   b.	It leads greater objectivity.
   c.	It leads to the introduction of new theory. For example, poverty was regarded as the 
       cause of crime for fairly long time but increasing crime in advanced countries has 
       falsified this theory.

(3)

   a.	It requires training for those who collect information, which demands more financial 
       source.
   b.	It is time consuming process, if the universe is large.
   c.	Its reliability and validity is based on the honesty and efficiency of the survey 
       workers.
   d.	Survey mostly based on samples, so always there is a possibility of sampling error.
   e.	As data is collected from primary sources, the feasibility is depends upon the 
       willingness and cooperation of the respondents.
   f.	There is a possibility of response error, due to respondents’ untrue / misleading 
       answers.





References and Further Readings


Cohen, L and Manion, L (1994) Research Methods in Education (Fourth Edition),ROUTLEDGE, London
IGNOU (2007) Educational Research : Different Types of Studies in Educational Research.Block 2, IGNOU. New Delhi
Krishnaswami, O.R (1993) Methodology of Research in Social Sciences. Himalaya Publishing House; Bombay
Reddy, C.R (1987) Research Methodology in Social Sciences, Daya Publishing House, Delhi.





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