Center for Social Research

Research Tip: Designing Surveys Using Tables

Survey design is an integral part of our work here at the CSR. From the programs we evaluate to the research we conduct, the survey is still one of the leading measurement tools used for social research.  While surveys have undergone serious electronic transformation with the introduction and increasing capabilities of various software programs, paper surveys are still in high demand from our clients.

Because of the high quantity of paper surveys that we design, the CSR is constantly looking for ways to improve them for our clients. One survey design trick that consistently benefits us is putting the entire survey into a (partially) invisible table.

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Posted by Michael Kelly on Monday, August 05, 2013 at 04:44 PM
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A CSR “So Long” to Three of our Valued Researchers

March on. Do not tarry. To go forward is to move toward perfection. March on, and fear not the thorns, or the sharp stones on life’s path.
-Khalil Gibran

As we near the end of summer, CSR must say goodbye to three of our employees as they say goodbye to Calvin College and embark onto exciting, unknown territories.  Today we recognize Tom Sherwood, Zig Ingraffia, and Dan Molling, thanking them for their contributions to CSR and wishing them the best of luck in their new endeavors.

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Posted by Michael Kelly on Monday, July 29, 2013 at 12:55 PM
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Project Overview: Summer Learning Academy 2013

The CSR’s goal to revitalize our weblog to be current and more informative leads to a new type of post: a Project Overview post. There are several projects occurring simultaneously at CSR, so the idea behind project overviews is to give our readers a better understanding of the types of projects that we are involved in, while also thanking our clients for working with us.

Over the past 2 years, the DeVos Foundation has partnered with CSR to evaluate the effectiveness of programs that are integral to their Believe 2 Become initiative, some of which include their Baby Scholars program, Gatherings of Hope program, and Summer Learning Academy program. However, since the Summer Learning Academy programs have taken precedence for us during this time of year, it is opportune to coincide the beginnings of our project overviews with this academic initiative.

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Posted by Michael Kelly on Monday, July 22, 2013 at 08:47 AM
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CSR presents 2012 survey results to CRC Synod

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Former CSR director Rodger Rice and current director Neil Carlson completed a full report on the 2012 CRC Survey and presented the results (video, starts at 2:45) to the Synod of the Christian Reformed Church on Monday, June 10, 2013.

From the summer of 2012 through January 2013, the Center for Social Research (CSR) conducted the 2012 wave of the Christian Reformed Church of North America survey. As with the previous wave, the survey focused on church health and trends over time within the denomination.

The following resources are now available:

Questions? Contact CSR at csr@calvin.edu.

Posted by Neil Carlson on Tuesday, June 18, 2013 at 09:33 AM
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Comment magazine on Believe 2 Become and Gatherings of Hope

Comment magazine logo, 'public theology for the common good'

Comment magazine, currently edited by Calvin’s James K. A. Smith (don’t miss his blog, Fors Clavigera), recently posted an excellent online article by Calvin alum Graham Scharf about the Believe 2 Become and Gatherings of Hope Initiatives. The article is titled “Renewing Social Architecture by Building Bridges” and characterizes B2B as a unique approach in today’s Christian philanthropic community.

Three years into these initiatives, CSR continues to provide research and evaluation support services for both Initiatives; for Believe 2 Become, we “ride shotgun” for the Community Research Institute at Grand Valley State University, while the Gatherings of Hope work is led by Calvin Sociology’s Mark Mulder.

Posted by Neil Carlson on Tuesday, June 18, 2013 at 09:16 AM
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