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Survey Research

Please, I need help in writing this survey research paper.
The case study: AARP
The American Association of Retired Persons has asked your help to evaluate one of its outreach programs, Federal Seniors. Federal Seniors so far has been a series of meetings with representatives - mainly middle- and lower-level human resources managers -- of about 30 federal agencies. The AARP would like to work with and encourage the agencies to help retain and return older workers to the workplace. The FS program is supposed to foster an exchange of information among the agencies with the goal of helping develop programs to retrain, retain and reemploy older workers. So far the FS group has had four quarterly meetings, with anywhere from a dozen to dozen and a half representatives attending. It has more quarterly meetings scheduled for 2008, but would like some research done before it sets up any more agendas. But in addition to wanting to know how well the program is working, it also needs to know what seniors, including their own members, think about some of the AARP's efforts, and what they think about working for the federal government, which normally recruits younger and mid-career professionals. Your team has expertise on using qualitative research to evaluate programs and policy. The AARP has asked your help and has set a budget of $20,000 for focus groups with seniors who are AARP members and non-members, knowing that focus groups cost about $5,000 each.

Your task:
Prepare a discussion guide and screener. As with all good research, you cannot implement a study before articulating a clear statement of what you need to learn, and understand how the research will be used in decision making. Only after this stage can we think about implementation: Whom do I want to talk with (the screener); and, what do I want to ask them and how do I want to ask it (the discussion guide)?

First, write at least two and no more than four bullet points containing the objectives. These objectives will be the roadmap for the composition of the groups and the discussion guide, and will help your group later with the survey project. They should enable you to specify the target audience/market, and what information needs to be gathered. Assume you will be conducting focus groups with AARP members and non-members. What are the homogeneous qualities you need to use to separate the groups? What are the heterogeneous ones you need for variation within your groups?

Second, write a "screener." A screener is a set of questions that allows you to recruit participants with the characteristics you need. Media research often
thinks of recruiting representatives of a target audience; in business, it's a target market. In public policy work, it's often clients. There should be a logic and flow to the screener - some questions necessarily should be after others. It should specify clearly who is eligible for which of groups, and who is not eligible. Make clear your assumptions about whether you are doing "cold calling" (or RDD) or working from some appropriate list. This should take you about two pages or less. There are on the Internet (some good and some bad).

Third, put together the discussion guide outline. It should have four to eight points that convey the general topics you need to cover during your focus group session. You should state the goals, or general question, of each, along with a set of probes or more closed-ended questions you might use to generate discussion in each. You should use some projective techniques. The DG need not be longer than about two pages.

I cannot stress enough that the second and third stages are built entirely on the first. So make sure you are linear in your thinking. (1) What do I want to learn? (2) Who can tell me this? (3) What questions do I need to ask them? Clarity and focus are the keys. That's why it's called a focus group.

Solution Preview

Dear Student,
Below is the solution I created for you based on the information you provided. I gave you a quick concise insight on Survey Research to help you expand the sample Discussion Guide & Sample Screeners I created for you. Attached is the word version of the solution that contains 4 Tables that are actually Survey Screeners as well as a better presented version of your sample discussion box. Print this and make it your guide. While I can create a more complicated screener or discussion guide, BrainMass policy inhibits me from completing your project for you other than making sure that you have all the information & guidance necessary to finish this particular project. I have endowed this solution so as to allow you to do just that. You can add more questions and improve on the ideas I presented by looking at new information on Senior Employment that you can find online or in published materials. Thank you for using Brainmass.

OTA 105878


Quick Insight on Survey Research

"Quantitative methods, especially survey work, are one of the major ways in which (these) organizations collect the information upon which policy decisions are made."

Yates, 2004 Doing Social Science Research

Just about everyone is familiar with surveys. Political & consumer polls are just among them, being most common. Survey research is indeed actively used by governments, commercial & private organizations the world over. For instance, the National Census collected periodically is a form of research providing data where upon the government is able to make predictions as well as design projects & base their policies around.

Within the general research design, Survey Research pretty much follows the quantitative route and the flow of hypothesis-data-analysis-verification-conclusion steps remain similar. Remember that quantitative research relies upon quantifiable data which at times is essentially numerical & verifiable evidence. It is closely linked to research designs within the natural sciences as survey research variables can be controlled dependent upon the design of the individual researcher. In Empirical social research survey research methods & experimental research methods attempt at 'measuring social phenomenon'. Hence, arguments have arisen in the academia as to the universality of findings within survey research. At times, many express survey research claims of universality as ...

Solution Summary

Th solution provides guidance in writing a survey research paper particularly in creating a discussion guide & a screener using the American Association of Retired Persons as basis for the study. Prior to discussing the creation of the particular bullet point guide & screener, the solution lays down the basics behind survey research as social research method to instill a "guiding understanding" of the process employed when doing social science research in this manner,