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The Ethics Board Meets Technology. Challenge & Success in Conducting Research via The Internet. Overview. Tackling the Technology of Online Research Karen L. Blair Selling Online Research to the Ethics Board Elaine Scharfe, Leslie Kerr Matching Participants Over Time and Between Surveys

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The ethics board meets technology

The Ethics Board Meets Technology

Challenge & Success in Conducting Research via The Internet


  • Tackling the Technology of Online Research

    • Karen L. Blair

  • Selling Online Research to the Ethics Board

    • Elaine Scharfe, Leslie Kerr

  • Matching Participants Over Time and Between Surveys

    • Diane Holmberg & Karen L. Blair

  • Anonymous Matching Over Time with Sensitive Populations

    • E. Lisa Price & Darcy Benoit

  • No experience necessary tackling the technology of online research

    No Experience Necessary:Tackling the Technology of Online Research

    Karen L. Blair, M.Sc.

    Acadia University

    Overview agenda outline
    Overview… Agenda… Outline

    • Why Online Research?

    • Do you need a website?

    • Where do you put an online survey?

    • What different survey sites/programs are available?

    • What is the best way to design an online survey?

    • How do you get the data from an online survey?

    • What’s the best program to choose?

    Why do online research
    Why Do Online Research?

    • Sample Size

      • U of Sask study – 85 participants increased to over 900 by collecting online

    • No Data Entry

    • More diverse samples

      • Geographically

      • Non-Academic Samples

    • Convenience for the participant

      • Will get participants who might not otherwise choose to complete surveys

      • Useful for sensitive populations

    Do you need a website
    Do You Need A Website?

    • 1 survey – probably not

    • More than one survey? – Maybe

      • More than one survey at once

      • Additional surveys in the future

    • Advantages

      • Constant Link (ease of advertising)

      • Multiple studies branching from single site

      • Credibility

    Behind the scenes of a website
    Behind the Scenes of a Website

    • Domain Names

      • i.e.

      • .com, .ca, .org ???

      • Availability of Domain Name

      • Choosing a good domain name

    • Hosting vs. Pointers

      • What is a pointer domain?

        • Automatically re-directs you to a different site

      • What is hosting?

    • Security

      • 128-bit encryption (i.e. Online Banking)

      • SSL Certificates


    • Survey Programming Sites & Software




      • (Checkboxes) ****

    • Security Option

      • These all have an option for SSL Certificates, but you often need to make sure you select the option, otherwise data will be sent over a regular unsecured connection

    Comparing programs
    Comparing Programs

    • Question Pro


    • Survey Monkey


    • Checkboxes


    Survey design
    Survey Design

    • Pre-Registration ?

      • On the Website or on Survey Site

      • How to see the responses as they come in

    • Single survey or multiple parts

      • Long surveys – good to break up

        • Easier Data download, can give participants a break

        • BUT … might lose participants

    • Tracking Participants

      • Usernames & Passwords

      • Identifying Information

      • IP Addresses

    Survey design1
    Survey Design

    • Online Informed Consent

      • “I agree and wish to continue” = Signature

      • “I do not wish to continue”  redirect outside of survey

    • Online Debriefing

    Data download
    Data Download

    • From FrontPage

    • From SurveyMonkey

      • Excel Format (CSV format)

      • Downloading in numerical vs. full text versions

      • Figuring out what is what

      • Backing up your data

      • SAVE everything and label clearly

    Why checkboxes will make your life easier
    Why Checkboxes will make your life Easier

    • User Registration = easy to track participants and match up their data

    • Advanced survey tools

      • Skip Logic (avoid presenting unnecessary questions)

      • Piping – ask questions based on previous answers

    • Increased Security options – passwords, registered users, specific access list

    • Question Libraries – import an entire questionnaire without re-coding it each time (i.e. STAI, Demographics, etc.)

    • Easily allow users to leave and come back later to finish

    • Scored Surveys (i.e. can use it to give online tests) or to score the responses of a questionnaire (instead of doing it in SPSS)

    • Response Time Tracker

    • And……….

    Benefits of checkboxes cont d
    Benefits of Checkboxes cont’d


    • Will do a number of very common and not so common statistical analyses for you

    • Built in reliability checks (i.e. haphazard responding)

    • Could save money in the long run – esp with multiple users

    Karen l blair m sc
    Karen L. Blair, M.Sc.