EDUC 536: Survey Project

Overview:  You will conduct a small pilot of a survey you design in class, using Qualtrics. Determine whether you will use your emerging dissertation topic, purpose, and research questions or whether you will use another area of interest to guide this project. Using your dissertation topic is recommended, but it is not required.

Survey: You will draft a survey, drawing on your research questions and conceptual framework (if you are focused on your dissertation topic), that has a minimum of 12-15 close-ended and 2 open-ended questions. You will work on refining your survey questions through numerous class exercises. Please refer to the syllabus regarding the timeline/due dates for in-class exercises. Please submit your draft survey, using the template in Appendix A, to your instructor by the due date in the syllabus.

Assignment Requirements:

  1. Document your overall methods for the survey portion of your dissertation (or hypothetical research project if you are not using your dissertation for this assignment) on pages 2-3. Do not use your survey pilot test procedures to complete pages 2-3.
  2. During Unit 13, you will learn how to post your survey on Qualtrics (USC’s online survey vendor) for administration. You will administer your survey to your peers. Additional instructions will be provided during the Unit 13 live session. As part of this survey administration, you will also add the following questions to the end of your survey for your participants requesting feedback:
  3. How many minutes did it take you to complete the survey (excluding this portion)? ___
  4. Please describe any problems with formatting or the appearance of the survey.
  5. Please list any items that did not follow the guidelines for good survey questions and describe how the items might be improved.
  6. Please list any items that were unclear or that might be misinterpreted by participants and describe how the items might be improved.
  7. Complete pilot study reflection sections on pages 4-5.
  8. During Unit 13, you will learn how to do some beginning analysis in Qualtrics. Create a summary report and attach it to this document.
  9. Be sure to include your final survey at the end of this document. You can provide a Word version (based on Appendix A) or a pdf from Qualtrics.



Note: this information parallels the content you will find in the template for Chapter 3 in your dissertation. Complete this section based on what you plan to do for your dissertation at this time (or hypothetical workplace project), using course readings and concepts. Do not complete this section based on your pilot test procedures.

What are your research questions?

List your research questions here.

What key concepts were you trying to learn more about through your survey?

List your key concepts. You do not need to provide narrative. If your project was focused on your dissertation topic, use your conceptual framework to guide this list.

For your dissertation (or hypothetical workplace project), please provide an overview of your survey participants including how you plan to recruit and sample participants.

In 1-2 paragraphs, discuss the target population for your survey and why they are appropriate for your research questions/study focus. Include your sampling and recruitment approach for the survey (e.g., random, convenience). Use citations as appropriate and draw on course concepts.

Describe your survey.

In 1-2 paragraphs, discuss the survey. If you are adapting or adopting a tool (recommended), provide information about the tool here, including an appropriate citation and any background on the tool. Discuss the types of items and content and how they relate to your research questions and conceptual framework. Use citations as appropriate and draw on course concepts.

Describe your data collection procedures.

In 1-2 paragraphs, discuss the logistical procedures for collecting your survey data including when and how you will be conducting the survey (online, in person, etc.), locations of data collection, general procedures, etc. Include rationale for your choices and citations to support decisions.  

Validity and Reliability: How might you work to maximize validity and reliability?

In 1-2 paragraphs, discuss the strategies you will use to maximize the reliability and content validity of surveys/assessments. If you are adopting any existing tools for your study, include the psychometric data associated with those tools. Discuss sampling and recruitment strategies for increasing reliability and what you will do to maximize response rates.

What issues related to positionality, power, and ethics are important considerations for your study? How might you mitigate them?

In 1-2 paragraphs, discuss issues of positionality, power, and ethics specific to your study and share your thoughts regarding how you might mitigate those issues.


On average, how long did it take your pilot test participants to complete this survey? 

Enter time.

How many participants completed your pilot test? How many participants did you send your survey to as part of the pilot test?

Enter number of participants.

Is there anything you feel your instructor should know about the survey, logistics, or any problems you encountered?

You can put “not applicable” if you do not need to document any challenges you faced.

What feedback did you receive on the pilot test items at the end of your survey?

In 1-2 paragraphs, summarize feedback you received to the four items you added to the end of your survey for the purposes of this pilot test.

Thinking about your research questions and key concepts, what gaps were present, if any, in your survey? What additional items may be needed to ensure you fully answer your research questions?

In 1-2 paragraphs, provide a brief overview of any gaps you noticed related to the content in your survey. Include additional items that may be needed.

What were your own lessons learned regarding survey administration?  What did this exercise teach you about surveys? 

In 1-2 paragraphs, write what you learned about conducting surveys.

What would you do differently in the future if you conduct surveys for research purposes?  Do any items need to be revised? Would you change something about your procedures?

In 1-2 paragraphs, write what you would do differently next time.

Thinking about the feedback you received from pilot test participants and what you have learned about surveys, do you need to adjust anything in your research road map or overall plan for your dissertation? Why or why not?

In 1-2 paragraphs, reflect on your research road map and overall plan for your dissertation and your new knowledge regarding interviews.

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