A Conference with Real Classes You Can Take
Every year I review and suggest summer classes that researchers might consider to learn all the newest techniques for research design and analysis. But for researchers who work in corporate settings, many of those classes are not practical. Who has the luxury of hanging out in Ann Arbor for six weeks to brush up on survey design?
So this year I am going to highlight opportunities for learning that are both substantial and practical. They are substantial because they are taught by industry experts on the academic side, including some of the biggest names in applied survey research. They are practical because the courses are embedded in a regular 4-day industry conference.
If you are a researcher with a regular job and have one industry conference a year you can attend, here is the one for you: the AAPOR 74th Annual Conference in Toronto coming up in May. As part of the conference, you can take two half-day courses, taught by prominent academic experts. Your choices are:
Course 1: Learning the Basics of Qualitative Data Analysis
Course 2: Advances in Address Based Sampling
Course 3: Augmenting Surveys With Data From Smartphone Sensors and Apps
Course 4: The World-Wide Challenge of Developing Effective Web-Push Survey Methods
Course 5: Adaptive Survey Design
Course 6: Interactive Survey Data Visualizations in R Shiny
Course 7: Cognition, Communication, and Self-Report Across Cultures
Course 8: An Introduction to Machine Learning for Survey Researchers
Here are more details on each, provided by the instructors:
Course 1: Learning the Basics of Qualitative Data Analysis. This course is for researchers who have little training in qualitative research, but who want to learn how qualitative data can be analyzed and made meaningful.
Course 2: Advances in Address Based Sampling. This course covers advances in ABS that have occurred since its early applications. While the focus of the course will be on current best practices, a historical perspective will be given to illuminate the evolution of methods.
Course 3: Augmenting Surveys With Data From Smartphone Sensors and Apps. This course will review state-of-the-art practices of smartphone sensor data collection, ranging from small-scale studies of hard-to-reach populations to large-scale studies to produce official statistics, and discuss design best-practices for sensor measurement.
Course 4: The World-Wide Challenge of Developing Effective Web-Push Survey Methods. This course will describe the reasons for the increased use of web-push methods, and will examine research designed to improve response to web-push surveys and the development of more effective communications with sampled households and individuals.
Course 5: Adaptive Survey Design. This course will focus on practical guidance for building adaptive survey designs, including identification of strata, choice of strategies, and optimization of design features across strata.
Course 6: Interactive Survey Data Visualizations in R Shiny. This course will focus on how to create interactive dashboards and visualizations in Shiny, including how to add more advanced interactive features and deploy it for access both inside and outside of an organization.
Course 7: Cognition, Communication, and Self-Report Across Cultures. This course focuses on conducting cross-cultural surveys as well as surveys within culturally diverse countries, which poses challenges that go beyond the usual complexities of the question answering process.
Course 8: An Introduction to Machine Learning for Survey Researchers. In this short course, the instructors will provide a gentle introduction to a breadth of topics in machine learning, illustrated through applications in survey research.
If you’ve never been to an AAPOR conference, it is worth going at least once. It is refreshingly different from other industry conferences. There are no sexy keynote speakers straining to make their circuit schticks apply to market research. There are no vendors on panels pitching sales baloney. There are just serious, smart researchers sharing knowledge and offering others a chance to learn.
—Joe Hopper, Ph.D.