The aim and scope of surveys (census and sample surveys) or the period for data collection are used to classify them (longitudinal and cross-sectional surveys). A census is a survey that includes the whole population of an area of interest. However, in studies, the people refer to the entire group affected by a study’s conclusions. The researcher defines the study’s target population.
Classifying surveys based on their scope and focus:
- A census of tangibles
When gathering data on a tiny population, such as a single school, the variables are concrete, and getting the appropriate answers is simple.
- A census of intangibles
It is a method of gathering data on structures that aren’t immediately visible but must be inferred through indirect measurements. Pupil accomplishments or ambitions, teacher morale, parents’ views toward school, or the achievement testing scheme used by most schools are examples of such concepts.
- A sample survey of tangibles
One is looking for information about huge groups. Then, the information gathered from the sample is used to create assumptions about the population as a whole, using sampling procedures.
- A sample survey of intangibles
One is looking for information on aspects that aren’t readily visible but must be inferred from the individuals’ replies to surveys or interviews. For example, one’s voting intentions are intangible, and what is written on a ballot is tangible.
Surveys Classified According to the Time Dimension:
- Longitudinal Surveys
It collects data at various points in time to examine changes over long periods.
- Panel Study
The same subjects are polled on several occasions over a long period. As a result, researchers can notice changes in people’s behaviour and study the reasons for the changes since the same subjects are learned throughout time.
- Trend Study
People from the same demographic are polled at different phases.
- Cohort Study
A specified population whose members changed during the study is monitored over an extended period.
- Cross-sectional Surveys
Examine a cross-section (sample) of a population at a particular interval of time
Five Basic Steps Involved in Survey Research:
Survey research starts with a question that the researcher feels can be best answered using the survey technique. Next, the researcher must decide on the method of data collection employed.
The researcher must identify the sampling technique to be employed and the sample size to be surveyed. The model must represent that group if the sample findings are generalized to the population.
- Constructing the Instrument
Creating the instrument used to collect data from the sample is significant in survey research.
- Conducting the Survey
After the data-gathering instrument has been developed, it must be field-tested to ensure that it will deliver the required data. This process would also include teaching the instrument’s users, interviewing respondents or providing questionnaires to them, and confirming the data obtained.
- Processing the Data
The last stage comprises data coding, data analysis, and evaluation of the research results and findings.