LENG 2579 Introduction to Survey Research
Most people are very familiar with surveys, having taken dozens if not hundreds of questionnaires in their lives. This being said, most are much less familiar with survey research, an investigative technique that develops and uses tools such as questionnaires, interviews, and focus groups to answer research questions in areas of study as diverse as anthropology, business, education, (second) language studies / linguistics, marketing, or political science. At a general level, this methodological English seminar (curso i) provides an introduction to survey
research, and it uses survey research as an avenue into designing, using, and validating mixed methods research. In particular, the course studies closely the construction, implementation, analysis, and validation of questionnaire instruments, though also considering for interview and focus group protocols. As such, it examines the contributions of both quantitative and qualitative research paradigms within a mixed methods framework and how these different approaches can contribute to the development of both exploratory and confirmatory research designs. More specifically, this course introduces students to the basic elements of developing and conducting ethical research, based within each student’s field of study. It first considers different epistemologies that generally orient research, and next considers the development of strong and interesting research questions. We will then study in turn the development, implementation, analysis, and validation of questionnaire data, gathered using the questionnaire instrument each student creates. These pilot-level data are used in this course as lens
for studying basic quantitative, qualitative and mixed-methods analyses. The course considers the basic elements of analysis in lab exercises or these different research designs, with special considerations for determining the results’ reliability, validity, and generalizability (quantitative research) or credibility, transferability, and dependability (qualitative research). Students who successfully complete the course will leave it with a piloted questionnaire, whose initial data has been analyzed. Though this course has as its heart examples of conducting research with second or additional languages, the research methodologies and designs described in this course are relevant for use by students in fields related to Business / Administration, Educational Studies, or areas within the School of Social Sciences. As an important part of becoming a member of the research community, students will be expected to complete assigned readings; participate actively in / lead class discussions and classwork; design, implement, analyze, and validate a questionnaire (or interview or focus group protocol) of their authorship, and to complete a proposal for a research project that is based in survey research and the piloted questionnaire instrument. This research proposal should be written using the proposal template used to submit research to the University’s ethics committee.
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