IES REL Workshop Guide to Improve Survey Design and Administration

The Institute of Education Sciences (IES) Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Midwest has developed a tool researchers can use to improve the design and administration of surveys. Individuals and groups who develop surveys can use these materials to facilitate workshops, guide a survey project, or ensure they are adhering to best practices for designing and conducting surveys.

The workshop presentation materials draw from evidence-based research from the field of survey research methodology and offer guidance on designing and administering high-quality surveys. The materials provide practical advice and examples drawn from experiences in developing surveys for local, state, and national education applications.

The workshop includes eight modules that describe the steps of survey design and administration—from planning to data collection—and covers the following topics: planning for a survey, exploring existing item sources, writing items, pretesting survey items, sampling, data collection methods, response rates, and focus groups. The facilitator’s guidebook includes the goals for each module, considerations for adapting the materials for various purposes, an annotated agenda, and participant handouts (slide decks and accompanying notes, activities, and handouts).

Although this guide is intended to help survey researchers in state and local education agencies organize and conduct a training for their staff, the materials also can be used as a stand-alone resource for anyone wishing to learn the basics about survey design and administration in education settings.

View the IES REL webpage to download the guide and resources: Workshop on Survey Methods in Education Research: Facilitator’s Guide and Resources