- Learning Objectives
- Survey Research: Meaning and Nature
- Types of Survey Research
- General Survey Vs Specific Survey
- Census Survey Vs Sample Survey
- Regular Survey Vs Ad hoc Survey
- Preliminary Survey Vs Final Survey
- Longitudinal Survey
- Cross – Sectional Survey
- Comparative Survey
- Evaluative Survey
- Documentary Survey
- Steps of Conducting Survey Research
- Advantages and Disadvantages of survey method#Let Us Sum Up
- References and further reading
- Key Words
- Answers to check your progress
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.
| 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.
(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.
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 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.
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.
| 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|
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.
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.
The key points of this chapter are as follows:
|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
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.
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.