Evaluating Studies

Develop a report based on an evaluation of a survey and its statistical findings.

Required Resources

The following resources are required to complete the assessment.

Internet Resources

Access the following resource by clicking the link provided. Please note that URLs change frequently. Permission for the following link has been either granted or deemed appropriate for educational use at the time of course publication.

  • Gallup. (2014). Retrieved from http://www.gallup.com

SHOW LESS

Suggested Resources

The following optional resources are provided to support you in completing the assessment or to provide a helpful context. For additional resources, refer to the Research Resources and Supplemental Resources in the left navigation menu of your courseroom.

Library Resources

The following article from the Capella University Library is linked directly in this course:

  • James-Enger, K. (2010). How to find and evaluate research: Here’s an article-writer’s guide to locating sources and understanding studies and statistics. Writer (Kalmbach Publishing Co.), 123(10), 40–41.

Course Library Guide

A Capella University library guide has been created specifically for your use in this course. You are encouraged to refer to the resources in the MAT-FP2001 – Statistical Reasoning Library Guide to help direct your research.

Bookstore Resources

The resource listed below is relevant to the topics and assessments in this course and is not required. Unless noted otherwise, this resource is available for purchase from the Capella University Bookstore. When searching the bookstore, be sure to look for the Course ID with the specific –FP (FlexPath) course designation.

  • Bennett, J. O., Briggs, W. L., & Triola, M. F. (2014). Statistical reasoning for everyday life (4th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.

Assessment Instructions

For this assessment, develop a report based on an evaluation of a Gallup survey and its statistical findings. Gallup reports on a variety of polls with explanations of the survey methods. Categories of polls include politics, economy, well-being, health care law, taxes, federal budget, and many more. 

To prepare for this assessment, go to the Gallup site (linked in the Resources under the Required Resources heading) and do the following:

  • Review a variety of polls on the site. 
  • Choose a poll to report on that closely aligns to your field of study or area of professional interest.
  • Review the information in the Survey Methods section of the article. This section details how the study was conducted. Also, study all information contained in additional links at the bottom of this section. You will use this information to complete your assessment.

Then, answer the following questions about the Gallup poll you selected:

  • What was the purpose of the poll? Write a brief summary. Include the title and link to the article within your summary.
  • What were the population and sample? Why is this sample appropriate for the population? What was the sample size? Was the sample size large enough to reflect the opinions of the population?
  • Were the results parameters or statistics? Why?
  • What type of sampling technique was used (for example, stratified, clustered, random, convenience, or systematic)? Why was this technique used? How were the subjects contacted? Was this method appropriate?
  • What was the confidence interval and margin of error? Interpret what the confidence interval means as it relates to the context of the survey.
  • What were the exact questions asked? Do you think the wording of the questions influenced the participants’ responses?
  • Did you find any evidence of bias in the poll? If so, describe the source of the bias. If not, how was bias avoided?

Evaluating Studies Scoring Guide

CRITERIA NON-PERFORMANCE BASIC PROFICIENT DISTINGUISHED Assess the appropriateness of a sample to represent a population.Does not describe the sample. Describes the population and the sample, but does not assess the appropriateness of the sample. Assesses the appropriateness of a sample to represent a population. Assesses the appropriateness of a sample to represent a population, and explains how the margin of error is affected by the sample size. Explain the rationale for using a particular sampling technique.Does not identify sampling techniques. Identifies sampling techniques, but does not explain the rationale for using them. Explains the rationale for using a particular sampling technique. Explains the rationale for using a particular sampling technique, and compares this to other sampling techniques. Interpret the meaning of the confidence interval in the context of survey results.Does not describe the confidence interval. Describes the confidence interval without interpretation of its meaning. Interprets the meaning of the confidence interval in the context of survey results. Interprets the meaning of the confidence interval in the context of survey results, and explains how the margin of error might have been affected by changes to the study design. Evaluate the impact of question wording on participants’ responses. Does not describe the wording of the questions asked. Describes the wording of the questions asked. Evaluates the impact of question wording on participants’ responses. Evaluates the impact of question wording on participants’ responses, and posits how differently worded questions might have impacted the statistical results. Evaluate a study for evidence of bias. Does not describe potential sources of bias. Describes potential sources of bias, but does not evaluate a study for evidence of bias. Evaluates a study for evidence of bias. Evaluates a study for evidence of bias, and explains how it either avoided bias or might have avoided bias. 

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