“One way to ruin an otherwise well-conceived survey is to use a convenience sample rather than one which is based on a probability design” (Ferber et al, 1980). Do you have the right sampling design for your study? This course introduces participants to what survey sampling is, why it is important, and how it is implemented. It focuses on the practical aspects as well as some of the mathematics.
This is a foundation level course run by the Social Research Association (SRA).
- Types of samples (probability versus non-probability)
- How to construct a ‘sampling frame’
- Types of probability samples (e.g., simple random, systematic, stratified, multi-stage clustered, unequal probabilities of selection).
- What ‘sampling error’ is
- The role of sampling error in confidence intervals
- How to determine sample size
- A very brief introduction to the effects of different types of sample designs on confidence intervals
- Introduction to weighting
PARTICIPANTS SHOULD BRING A CALCULATOR WITH A SQUARE ROOT FUNCTION.
By the end of the course, participants will:
- Recognise the strengths and weaknesses of different sampling strategies
- Understand confidence intervals for means and proportions and how to select a sample size which will guarantee the desired width of the confidence interval after data collection
- Be able to critique aspects of existing survey samples
- Have introductory knowledge about how to draw their own survey sample
Who will benefit?
- The course will benefit anyone who wishes to conduct their own survey or commission a survey.
- Ideally participants should have had at least some prior experience of statistics.
- Participants will have a good awareness of the key aspects of designing a survey sample.