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SF Bay Guardian: Article overlooks key findings and new academic research

SF Bay Guardian: Article overlooks key findings and new academic research | Research Capacity-Building in Africa | Scoop.it

By Corey Cook

I am writing in regard to Reed Nelson’s story “’Poll’ showing 73 percent approval for Mayor Lee was flawed.” As one of the two authors of the survey, I am deeply disappointed in the many insinuations in the article and the author’s cavalier abandonment of evidence or reason in order to make his politically expedient, but otherwise inane, point.


In fact, the author is so quick to dismiss the findings of the study, which is based upon accepted methodology, and which had nothing to do with mayoral approval scores, that he actually misses the entire thrust of the study – that voters in San Francisco are deeply ambivalent about the current environment, concerned about the affordability crisis, and not trusting of local government to come up with a solution.

 

You’d think the Bay Guardian might find that an interesting subject. Under a previous editor I have little doubt it would have. Instead, the author mind numbingly asserts that the mayor’s approval rate – a largely irrelevant number – is clearly overinflated and the survey must then be “bogus” (meaning fake or phony). While other scholars might find the popular characterization of their work as “fake” somewhat amusing. I do not.

 

The author relies on two main sources to claim that an on-line panel survey is “bogus”, the New York Times “style guide” and the “website publication” of Southeast Missouri State University Political Scientist Russell D. Renka, who is neither a survey researcher nor a political methodologist, and who does not seem to have published anything in this field (or even in political science based on his on-line vita), but who does seem to have a fairly robust home page that includes cute photos of his grandkids.

 

It’s not the kind of “source” that I would utilize to deride another academic’s work as “bogus”, and I could suggest some other (actual) publications to consider, including Harvard political scientist Stephen Ansolabehere’s peer reviewed article in Political Analysis titled “Does Survey Mode Still Matter?” from 2011 that compares national surveys fielded at the same time over the Internet (using an opt-in Internet panel), by telephone with live interviews (using a national RDD sample of landlines and cell phones), and by mail (using a national sample of residential addresses).

 

The authors of that study conclude that “comparing the findings from the modes to each other and the validated benchmarks, we demonstrate that a carefully executed opt-in Internet panel produces estimates that are as accurate as a telephone survey and that the two modes differ little in their estimates of other political indicators and their correlates.” But unfortunately that peer reviewed publication by a Harvard political scientist seems to contradict the simple assertion that a survey result the author doesn’t like must be phony.

 

Let me say that I don’t considered this issue “settled” in the scholarly community, but it is far from the case that serious on-line panel surveys ought to be derided as “bogus.” My preference would be to do a 1,200 person phone survey. If the Bay Guardian would like to commission such a survey, I would enjoy working with you on that project. But given the various cost limitations that preclude such a robust research design, this is not an altogether bad alternative.


Via Media Relations for the University of San Francisco
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Article overlooks key findings and new academic research
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University of San Francisco's curator insight, January 13, 2014 7:34 PM
Associate Professor Corey Cook and researcher David Latterman conducted research measuring happiness levels of San Francisco residents. Overall, findings were positive and people are buoyed by the city's thriving economy, although the survey did indicate residents have conflicted feelings surrounding the tech boom. The research was exclusively given to the San Francisco Chronicle, but garnered additional coverage with KQED Radio News, KCBS, San Francisco Magazine, and the Huffington Post. 

http://sco.lt/7VHWyH

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19 Easy Ways to Survey Your Potential Customers 

19 Easy Ways to Survey Your Potential Customers  | Research Capacity-Building in Africa | Scoop.it

Don't leave your content to chance! Follow these 21 Easy Ways to Survey Your Audience about what they really want. 


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Walter Gassenferth's curator insight, September 26, 6:40 AM
Very interesting subject to be considered and discussed. I will disclose the post to my contacts and subscribers in http://www.quanticaconsultoria.com
Terry Yelmene's curator insight, September 26, 9:50 AM
It's OK to think about asking for insight from your prospective audience in more than one channel - Its a great way to not only have you solution fit and market product fit questions answered you may learn a bit more about where your prospective tribe is actually hanging out!
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Design thinking is an approach to learning that includes considering real-world problems, research, analysis, conceiving original ideas, lots of experimentation, and sometimes building things by hand. The projects teach students how to make a stable product, use tools, think about the needs of another, solve challenges, overcome setbacks and stay motivated on a long-term problem.…

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In contrast to traditional higher education, which closes learning off from the world, open learning is transparent and accessible to anyone with internet access. Such openness could do a lot to improve standards at universities whose business models are driven by bums on seats, rather than mastery of a given subject. It might also lift the morale of academia. Academics who are in control of what they teach, and who teach students who seek them out, may regain their professional freedom. Around 7,000 online students recently earned the first certificates awarded by MIT and Harvard through their Edx partnership. That’s more than twice the number of degrees that MIT awarded at this year’s commencement. Another 147,596 observers signed up to marvel at what an MIT course is really like. Substantially greater numbers are expected for the spring course offerings. Their first MIT course, Circuits and Electronics, was tough. University level maths and physics were prerequisites, and the exam would give many nosebleeds.


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making a difference through open practice #clavier #warcler 
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Virtual Landscapes - University of Leeds

Virtual Landscapes - University of Leeds | Research Capacity-Building in Africa | Scoop.it
Virtual landscapes

About the project Virtual Landscapes is a collaboration between the School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds, and the Leeds College of Art to develop virtual training environments, using the Unity 3D game engine.

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