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Designing and Implementing Mobile Web Surveys

8th December 2017 @ 9:30 am - 5:30 pm

Course Code HUB-13-16/17-P-R
Organised by NCRM, University of Southampton
Presenter Professor Mick Couper
Date 08/12/2017
Venue Main Council Chamber, Park Place, University of Cardiff, Cardiff
Map View in Google Maps  (CF10 3AT)
Contact Jacqui Thorp
Training and Capacity Building Co-ordinator
NCRM, University of Southampton
Tel: 02380 594069
Email: [email protected]
Description Mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) are increasingly being used by respondents to complete Web surveys. This presents a number of design challenges for survey researchers. Smartphones also offer a number of added possibilities for survey designers, such as the use of GPS to track movement, apps to trigger measurement at set times (ecological momentary assessment), the possibility of capturing images, and other features. This course will focus on the design implications of the rise of mobile device use for survey research. The research evidence will be reviewed, and the various options for accommodating mobile Web users will be discussed. The challenges of using the enhanced features of mobile phones for general population surveys will also be reviewed. The course is focused on situations where respondents are using their own devices, i.e., the designer has little control over the device used. Participants are encouraged to bring their own example surveys to the course to discuss.

The course covers:

  • The rise in mobile Web use
  • Coverage and nonresponse implications of mobile Web
  • How to identify mobile Web users (user agent strings and paradata)
  • How Web surveys on a mobile device are different from those on a PC
  • How to design Web surveys to accommodate mobile users
  • Challenges and opportunities of exploiting the features of mobile surveys

By the end of the course participants will:

  • Understand the varieties and uses of paradata in Web surveys
  • Have the knowledge or tools to collect, process, and analyse paradata
  • Understand how to extract meaning from paradata

Target Audience

The course in intended primarily for academic and government researchers designing or conducting Web surveys primarily for general population surveys or online access panels (rather than small groups of volunteers). It is intended as an introductory overview of the issues introduced by the rise of mobile Web devices, and as such is intended for all levels, and for any discipline.


Familiarity with designing and conducting Web surveys will be assumed.



Level Intermediate (some prior knowledge)
Cost The fee per teaching day is:

• £30 per day for UK/EU registered students
• £60 per day for staff at UK/EU academic institutions, UK/EU Research Councils researchers, UK/EU public sector staff and staff at UK/EU registered charity organisations and recognised UK/EU research institutions.
• £220 per day for all other participants

All fees include event materials, lunch, morning and afternoon tea. They do not include travel and accommodation costs.

Website and registration
Region Wales
Keywords Online Data Collection , Mobile web , , Web Survey Design , , Measurement error , , Smartphones , , Tablets , , Paradata
Related publications and presentations Online Data Collection


8th December 2017
9:30 am - 5:30 pm
NINE DTP - a collaborative partnership funded by the ESRC