Assessment of Innovations in Data Collection Technology for Understanding Society

Couper, Mick (2012) Assessment of Innovations in Data Collection Technology for Understanding Society. Project Report. UNSPECIFIED. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

In this brief assessment, Professor Mick Couper (Survey Research Center, University of Michigan) reviews some of the options for using new technologies for data collection in Understanding Society, with a primary focus on Web-based data collection. He briefly addresses the following areas: Web as the primary mode for all main instruments, in a sequential mixed-mode approach; Web as the secondary mode for all main instruments, in a sequential mixed-mode approach; Web as the primary mode for certain instruments, such as the youth self-completion survey; Web as the only or primary mode for special supplemental studies; Web as the only mode of data collection, using an online panel; Other technologies such as smart phones, tablets, and social media; Use of administrative records; Biomeasures. Each of these topics is addressed in the body of the report. Much of the review focuses on the use of the Web as the primary mode of data collection in a sequential mixed-mode design, as this is the approach currently under investigation in the Understanding Society Innovation Panel (IP5), and has the most potential – if successful – of yielding efficiencies in data collection. However, the existing research evidence is thin, and while there are some promising findings there are also studies that suggest this approach might not be as effective as hoped. This suggests caution in proceeding down this path too fast. The mixed-mode design planned for the next two Innovation Panels (IP5 and IP6) offers the best opportunity to gain much-needed evidence of direct relevant to Understanding Society, and Professor Couper's recommendation is to wait for the results of these studies to be available before any decisions about changing data collection strategies for the Understanding Society mainstage are made. This conclusion is based on the fact that there is much that is not known about how well the introduction of Web-based data collection will work, and that proceeding without such knowledge presents intolerable levels of risk for an important infrastructure study like Understanding Society.

Item Type:Working Paper (Project Report)
Subjects:1. Frameworks for Research and Research Designs > 1.6 Survey Research
1. Frameworks for Research and Research Designs > 1.20 Secondary Analysis > 1.20.5 Analysis of administrative data
1. Frameworks for Research and Research Designs > 1.24 Frameworks for Research and Research Designs (other)
2. Data Collection > 2.11 Online Data Collection
2. Data Collection > 2.12 Data Collection (other)
ID Code:2276
Deposited By: Mrs Kaisa Puustinen
Deposited On:04 Apr 2012 12:29
Last Modified:25 Apr 2012 11:09

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