For my JOUR 5501 class I had to work with a group to create a survey related to sports. Our group chose to focus on the controversy surrounding Ralph Lauren's 2012 Olympic Ceremony outfits. The survey can be found by following these two links: Part I and Part II
Our research question asked if United States citizens had an opinion on whether the US Olympic Ceremony clothing should be made domestically. Inspiration for such a survey was the result of the recent controversy surrounding Ralph Lauren's 2012 Olympic Ceremony outfits being made in China. I feel that one of our primary successes was the way in which we devised our questions and formatted our survey. I believe that our survey's questions did a good job of collecting valuable demographic information and gauging peoples' awareness of the controversy and accumulating their opinions for future use in similar situations.
While I have strong faith in the responses we collected, I believe that it provides a very limited point of view of the issue. As discussed in part two of this assignment, we failed to survey a representative sample of the United States population, and therefore cannot generalize the results. Much of this was due to limited time and resources, but additional problems were the result of the format in which we sent it out. Due to constraints set by SurveyMonkey, the online survey service we used to collect our results, we had to split our survey up into two parts: part one surveyed demographics, while part two asked questions related to our research question. Of the 51 people who started the survey, only 49 completed it. Ideally, all questions would be collected in one survey and our subjects would have been chosen at random, where every member of the population had en equal chance of being chosen. Without this random and representative set of subjects, we are not able to generalize our results and therefore cannot properly answer our research question.
In working on this project, I found the greatest challenge to be working with my group and dividing up responsibilities. To design, distribute, collect and analyze a survey with a group of people with vary different schedules and writing styles proved to be difficult. Additionally, some group members were more active in contributing to the success of the project than others, resulting in an unrepresentative approach to the study even within our group. While I back the writing and design of our final survey, I believe that the same results could have been achieved much more quickly if we had all clarified our goals and intentions before beginning the project.
If given the opportunity to make corrections, I would first ensure that my team members and I are all on the same page in terms of our goals and commitments for the success of the survey. Once established, I would suggest that each be responsible for surveying random subjects of various demographics in an effort to generalize the results and lower our percent error. I would also turn our two-part survey into one congruent survey to prevent people from quitting half way through the survey.
The primary lesson that I learned from this project is the importance of being on the same page as those who I am working with to create the survey. Additionally, I gained insight into the amount of planning and time it takes to create an effective survey that can be distributed, analyzed and generalized for a target population.