GESIS: Using Paradata to Improve Web Surveys

Institution: GESIS Institute for Social Sciences

Lecturer: Prof. Mick P. Couper, University of Michigan

Date: November 27, 2014

Place: GESIS Mannheim

Language of instruction: English


Course Overview: Paradata are process data that are generated as a byproduct of conducting Web surveys. There are a variety of types of paradata, including user agent strings (used to identify the device and systems used to access the survey), server-side paradata (which records information transmitted to and from the Web server), client-side paradata (which can capture respondent actions while completing a Web page), and call-record data, which records the outcomes of survey requests. Paradata can thus be used to manage, evaluate, and improve Web survey data collection. This course will introduce participants to the various types of paradata and their uses. Given that the type and format of paradata generated is sometimes specific to the software being used, the course will not focus on technical and programming issues relating to paradata capture. Rather, the course will focus on how the paradata can be used to make informed decisions about Web survey design. Various examples of paradata analyses will be discussed.

Further information