DISM works to offer the following 5 survey methods workshops on request.  Research teams and other organized groups wishing to learn more should email  

This workshop is designed for researchers who are planning to collect original data and considering how to select one or more methods for doing so.

The workshop begins with a review of effective and clear research question formulation and proceeds to a discussion of the advantages and opportunities, as well as limitations of various data collection methods (and associated analytic techniques), including survey research, in-depth interviewing, focus groups, and text analysis.

In addition, the workshop will attend to logistical and theoretical considerations in implementing each of these research approaches.

This workshop covers the process of writing and testing survey questions in depth. There is no way to be certain that respondents will interpret your questions exactly as you intend and provide the answers you want, but this workshop will introduce what is known about the psychology of survey response and generally accepted best practices for question writing.

Topics include how survey mode affects question writing, the potential for bias in questions, appropriate answer options, and writing survey questions for experiments. The workshop will conclude with a review of methods for testing questions to ensure their validity and reliability.

This workshop offers an introduction to Qualtrics survey software, a package available (at no cost to researchers) for use across Duke’s campus and medical center. This powerful, easy-to-use system is a great way to collect information online, whether as part of a research protocol or for administrative purposes such as program evaluation. This workshop will introduce participants to the Qualtrics system, demonstrate how to set up an account, create a questionnaire and access its results. It will also cover some basic tools that can be used to customize the questionnaire to fit your needs, such as using display and skip logic to collect more detailed information from a subset of your audience. The workshop is taught through the Duke Initiative on Survey Methodology (DISM) in collaboration with the Duke Office of Information Technology (OIT). Participants will receive a very brief overview of the consulting and other services DISM offers to help Duke researchers develop and conduct surveys.
This workshop examines questionnaire design for online and paper questionnaires, such as screen layout and appearance, the use of images, and other aspects of the user interface which affect the accuracy of survey results. This course does not include programming, but focuses on the conceptual issues and considerations underpinning questionnaire design for online and paper designs. It also considers the design issues involved in combing such modes can be combined with other data collection modes, i.e., in-person or telephone.

This workshop provides an introduction to conducting survey experiments, including a brief motivation for when and why to use an experiment. The workshop covers common experimental designs, how to design and pretest experimental manipulations, and concludes with a discussion of how to analyze experimental data.

Upcoming workshops are listed in the events calendar. For information about additional training opportunities, email

Additional Resources:

The American Association for Public Opinion Research offers webinars and offers online access to numerous reports highlighting current issues and best practice in survey methodology.

UNC’s Odum Institute offers Short Courses in Survey Methodology.   DISM offers a limited number of stipends to Duke students to fund registration. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis; upcoming courses offered through Odum can be found here.