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Thursday, September 6 • 6:35pm - 6:45pm
How to Fail at Mobile Surveying Without Really Trying

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This Fail Fest Lightning Talk will explore lessons learned from survey research projects utilizing mobile technology. The use of mobile technology in survey research has become increasingly more prevalent across the world, but with this growth comes both obvious and subtle lessons learned. Like all modes of research, those that utilize technology have strengths and weaknesses, and these often differ depending on the mobile mode being used. In this lightning talk we will discuss successes and failures related to several modes of data collection, including computer-assisted telephone interviews (CATI), interactive voice response (IVR), mobile web and short message service (SMS) surveys. For example, respondents must have a mobile phone and be literate to participate in SMS surveys, while CATI surveys require that enumerators speak and understand local languages and dialects and that respondents have time to participate in a survey.

Representatives from GeoPoll and RTI International will provide real examples of how mobile surveys can fail by overlooking both simple and complex issues related to questionnaire design, sampling, and programming surveys into technology platforms. At the end of this short talk, session participants will understand that although technology can improve speed and quality of research, the details and nuances of any survey research project still apply. They will also learn that a single issue with a technology platform can derail an entire survey research project during the design, implementation, or analysis stages of data collection.


Charles Lau

Research Survey Methodologist, RTI International
avatar for Tavian MacKinnon

Tavian MacKinnon

Program Manager, GeoPoll

Thursday September 6, 2018 6:35pm - 6:45pm EDT
Academy Hall Main Room 1825 Connecticut Avenue NW, 8th Floor, Washington, DC 20009