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Why is survey research the most used and misused of the research methods? In many cases, researchers use a survey methods approach because it fits the problem and goal, is convenient, and also makes it possible to assess larger samples economically. Unfortunately, many survey studies are poorly designed and executed, resulting in a less than optimal quality level for the data.

Which data collection method is appropriate for your Research Proposal depends upon many factors. These include population-related considerations, reliability and validity concerns, survey error, response rates, as well as logistical and cost considerations. Many data collection methods are available, from traditional telephone or face-to-face methods, to web surveys and computer-assisted interviewing. Again, your literature review can help guide you toward the optimal data collection method for your study.

Once a data collection method has been selected, the survey and method can be pilot tested, which can be a critical key to ensuring the success of the survey. Piloting can consist of a standalone study or a simple assessment of as many participants as is necessary to work out problems from a survey instrument.

To prepare for this Discussion, choose two data collection strategies, with one of them being a strategy you intend to propose for your Final Project. Consider strengths and weaknesses of each strategy. Then think about why the data collection strategy for your Final Project might be the optimal data collection strategy for that particular research question.

With these thoughts in mind:

By Day 4

Post by Day 4 a brief description of the two data collection strategies you selected, including the strengths and weaknesses of each. Identify which of the two data collection strategies you are proposing for your Final Project, and explain why it might be the optimal data collection strategy for your research question.