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Short Course D: Mobile Web Surveys

Prof. Dr. Florian Keusch

Date: 24.08 - 25.08.2015 ics-file

Location: Cologne

About the lecturer - Prof. Dr. Florian Keusch

Course description

Mobile devices that allow users to access the Internet through a wireless connection, such as cell phones, smartphones, tablet PCs (tablets), and ebook readers, have not only become parts of our daily lives but also emerged as a serious new alternative for Web-based self-administered survey data collection. The increased penetration of mobile devices now enables survey researchers to specifically target mobile users for survey participation. It also allows participants to access Web surveys on their mobile devices, even when they have not been optimized for those devices. The main objective of this course is to provide participants with a basic methodological understanding on the impact of mobile Internet access on survey error. The course will focus on both the many shared characteristics of desktop and mobile Web surveys and their differences in coverage, sampling, nonresponse, and measurement error. Participants will have the chance to work on their own mobile Web survey projects and compare the accessibility of their survey across different mobile devices. Additionally, special topics of mobile Web surveys (e.g., use of GPS data and other mobile device features, SMS/text surveys) will be covered in the course.

Here you can find the full syllabus of the course with complete information on the topics, literature, and day-to-day schedule.

Target group

Participants will find the course useful if they:
have some basic knowledge of Web survey methodology and would like to extend it to mobile Web surveys;
already conduct surveys on the Web and want to learn how to deal with the increasing number of participants using mobile devices;
want to specifically target users of mobile devices for self-administered survey data collection;
would like to improve the quality of mobile Web surveys they already conduct or plan to conduct in the future.

Learning objectives

By the end of the course participants will:
have basic methodological knowledge on all stages of preparation and implementation of Web surveys that either specifically target users of mobile devices or allow participants to fill out the online questionnaire on a mobile device;
understand the implications of completing surveys on mobile devices on coverage, sampling, nonresponse, and measurement error;
know how to use paradata to monitor from which device the survey is taken;
appreciate the advantages and disadvantages of different approaches of how to deal with unintended mobile participants in Web surveys.


Participants are expected to be familiar with the basics of survey methodology (key terminology and basic principles of writing survey questions). This could be acquired in the course Introduction to Survey Design in week 1 and Questionnaire Design in week 2.
Ideally, participants will also have some hands-on experience with the development and implementation of Web surveys. This could be acquired in the course Introduction to Web Surveys in week 2.