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The leading association
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survey research professionals
American Association for Public Opinion Research

Short Courses

The 2022 Conference will include eight short courses to enhance your learning experience. These in-depth, half-day courses are taught by well-known experts in the survey research field and cover topics that affect our ever-changing industry. You will have the opportunity to register for the Short Courses during the conference registration process. The 2022 Short Courses include:

Virtual Short Courses


Onsite Short Courses


Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in the Social Sciences: Current Applications of Maps, Mappable Data, and Geospatial Analysis 


VIRTUAL  |  May 2, 2022  |  10:00 am - 1:30 pm EST   
Instructors: Ned English and Peter Herman

Description: Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is a popular tool to compile, present, and understand data in the social sciences.  This short course is designed for those with minimal GIS knowledge who would like to understand how it has been used to facilitate data collection and analysis.  We will also provide a practical introduction to learn the basics of presenting social scientific data on a map and conducting simple geospatial analyses.  An underlying message will be how maps and geospatial analyses can be used to facilitate and enhance current research programs. 
Our course will include an introduction to basic cartographic principles and GIS in general, examples of how survey response and demographic data can be visualized using GIS maps, a step-by-step guide to making and customizing single- and multi-variate maps (starting from public use shapefiles and data in an excel spreadsheet), and a tutorial for making and understanding maps that show “hot spots” and “cool spots” in your data.  We will use examples from ArcGIS, a popular proprietary GIS package software, and GeoDa, an open source free GIS programs.

Comparing Methods for Assessing Reliability


VIRTUAL  |  May 3, 2022  |  10:00 am - 1:30 pm EST  
Instructors: Ting Yan and Hanyu Sun 

The ultimate goal of question evaluation and testing is to produce survey items that yield reliable and valid answers. In the course, we will cover different methods to estimate reliability. We will start with relatively simple statistics such as gross difference rates (GDRs), Cohen’s kappa, and overtime correlation. We will also cover more sophisticated approaches. This includes estimates from multi-trait, multi-method experiments, models applied to longitudinal data, and latent class analyses. In addition, we will cover two ex ante computer-based systems to assess item reliability, including the survey quality predictor (SQP) and QUAID. For each method, we will discuss its potential problems and demonstrate how to estimate reliability using mock data. In addition, we will compare to what extent the methods agree with each other on identifying unreliable questionnaire items. 

Data Visualizations for Surveys Using ggplot2 


VIRTUAL  |  May 4, 2022  |  2:00 pm - 5:30 pm EST
Instructor: Brittany Alexander

This course will teach you how to use the ggplot2 R package to visualize complex survey data. The ggplot2 package is a flexible open-source tool using R to create high-quality, customizable graphics.  This course will use ggplot2 to visualize survey data with adjustments to handle survey weights and plot proportions instead of counts.  First, an overview of the ggplot2 package and the tidyverse will be given. Then you will learn to use ggplot2 to visualize both weighted and unweighted survey variables.  Finally, you will learn how to use facets to create visualizations of crosstabs. Example code and functions will be provided so that you can use the code in your own work. 

Respondent Centered Surveys; Putting Respondents at the Heart of Survey Design


VIRTUAL  |  May 5, 2022  |  10:00 am - 1:30 pm EST 
Instructors: Laura Wilson and Emma Dickinson

Throughout the survey design industry, we are experiencing a decline in response rates alongside the demand for push-to-web mixed-mode completion. The data collection world is changing and to respond to these challenges, it is necessary to combine established and innovative survey design methodologies. We must move away from the traditional approaches that hinder us from achieving our goals, such as designing surveys at desk or in the boardroom. Instead, we need to start putting the respondent first and letting them drive survey design. This is Respondent Centred Design and it is achieved by heavily involving respondents in research to establish their survey participation needs and subsequently building to meet them. Only then can we develop a survey with low burden and high-quality data.  

This course will explain why this shift in our design focus and practices is critical to the creation of successful surveys. The course introduces and explains an innovative methodological approach called ‘Respondent Centred Design’ which is showcased in the course leaders new book, ‘Respondent Centred Surveys; Stop, Listen and then Design’. The course demonstrates its application to survey development through use of frameworks and case studies from the transformation of the UK’s Labour Force Survey from the Office for National Statistics. Attendees are encouraged to bring a design problem to course to work through using what they learn in each module.

Budgeting 101: “Hands On” Budget Development for Public Opinion Research Projects


ONSITE  |  May 11, 2022  |  8:00 am - 11:30 am CST 
Instructors: Chuck Shuttles and Jordon Peugh 

Most public opinion professionals begin their careers working on projects whose budgets were created by others in their organization and they must live within the constraints of those budgets. This course is designed for those interested in better understanding budget creation and are ready to improve their own budget skills specific to public opinion research projects. Students will learn how to break down a project into manageable segments, multiple methods for estimating costs, how to build the budget as a model where assumptions change, and how to manage the budget over the life of the project.

This is not a lecture course.  The entire course will be a hands-on / interactive exercise where you will be guided through the budget planning / building process (i.e., laptop computer with Excel or Google Sheets required). The instructors will discuss real-world demands made on anyone creating or managing a budget, e.g., “the client needs this to cost less than $X,” “we need X% profit margin,” “we must deliver results in X days / weeks / months,” or all of the above).  In the end, students will experience the steps to building a project budget and prepare for the efficient management of project costs.

Quantitative and Qualitative Data Collection Techniques for Health Measurements


ONSITE  |  May 11, 2022  |  8:00 am - 11:30 am CST
Instructors: Marieke Haan and Yfke Ongena

Measuring someone's health by means of questionnaires is a challenging task. The concept of health is very broad - it encompasses a person's physical, social and mental state – which makes conceptualization difficult. In addition, there is a high risk of socially desirable answers, since people like to indicate that they are doing well. Finally, health research is often conducted among people who are not fit or the elderly for whom surveys are a cognitively demanding task.

This course will focus on both quantitative and qualitative data collection techniques to measure health. First, participants will learn more about implementation of surveys in hospital waiting rooms, taking the Total Survey Error Framework into account. Special attention will be paid to the risks of socially desirable answers. Second, participants will learn about collecting qualitative data on health through semi-structured interviews and researcher driven photo-elicitation interviews. Ensuring the scientific quality of these forms of data collection will be discussed on the basis of Guba and Lincoln's trustworthiness criteria. Finally, we pay attention to analyzing qualitative data by means of a thematic analysis.

Samplics: Survey Sampling from A to Z in Python


ONSITE  |  May 11, 2022  |  8:00 am - 11:30 am CST
Instructor: Mamadou S. Diallo 

Survey samples are often selected using predefined probabilistic methods from finite populations. Complex sampling designs are used to facilitate fieldwork and keep costs under control (e.g., stratification, clustering, stage sampling, etc.), resulting in samples with unequal selection probabilities. Techniques such as sample selection, weight adjustment, and sample analysis need to account for the complexity of the sampling design. I developed a Python package named samplics, which implements sample size calculation, sample selection, population parameter estimation, and small area prediction to allow Python users to work with survey data more efficiently. 

This talk will show how a survey statistician can use Python and, more specifically, samplics to conduct a comprehensive survey. More specifically, I will show how to calculate sample size, use SRS and PPS techniques to select samples, calculate and adjust sample weights, estimate linear and non-linear population parameters using Taylor-based and replication-based techniques, including calibration techniques such as GREG, post-stratification, raking. In addition, I will illustrate regression techniques under the complex sampling design using samplics. Finally, if time allows, I will introduce conducting basic small area estimation (SAE) methods using samplics.

Confronting Non-Ignorable Non-Response in Modern Surveys


ONSITE  |  May 11, 2022  |  8:00 am - 11:30 am CST
Instructor: Michael Bailey 

Survey researchers typically deal with non-response via weighting, quota sampling and multilevel regression and post-stratification (MRP).  These tools are powerful, but do not address non-ignorable non-response, the kind of response that occurs when non-response is directly related to the content being surveyed. Ironically, non-ignorable non-response is often ignored, a pattern this course seeks to counteract by exploring survey research through the lens of non-ignorable non-response.  This entails understanding first how ignorable and non-ignorable non-response have been important in the history of polling, including in the highly fluid contemporary era. Second, this involves thinking deeply about why non-ignorable non-response poses such dangers for polling, especially modern polling that is typically based either on opt-in internet samples or random samples with very low response rates.

The course ends on a constructive note.  We need not be passive or fatalistic in the face of potential non-ignorable non-response.  There is a broad and growing toolkit for dealing with non-ignorable non-response.  Using this toolkit makes new demands on the data, but not unreasonable ones.

The goal is that participants emerge with a stronger understanding of this important potential source of survey error and a grasp of the tools to help tame it.


Notice to Federal Employees

The Annual AAPOR Conference conforms to the OPM definition of a “developmental assignment.” It is intended for educational purposes; over three quarters of time schedule is for planned, organized exchange of information between presenters and audience, thereby qualifying under section 4101 of title 5, United States Code as a training activity. The AAPOR Conference is a collaboration in the scientific community, whose objectives are to provide a training opportunity to attendees; teach the latest methodology and approaches to survey research best practices; make each attendee a better survey researcher; and, maintain and improve professional survey competency.