ISSR Summer Methodology Workshop | Introduction to Survey Design | Liz Williams

Wednesday, August 3, 2022 - 9:00am to 4:00pm
Thursday, August 4, 2022 - 9:00am to 4:00pm
E20 Machmer Hall | UMass Amherst

This workshop will be offered in person on the campus of UMass Amherst

Current knowledge of survey research best practices is important for social scientists who aspire to conduct high-quality surveys, and to critically evaluate existing survey-based studies. Technological advances over the past few decades have made it easier than ever before to contact people, administer surveys, and analyze and report on survey data. Yet paradoxically, social contexts for survey research are unprecedentedly challenging, with diminished survey participation rates worldwide.

Framed by the challenging context for survey research, this two-day (12-hour) workshop will draw on the work of prominent survey research experts to emphasize effective practice. Participants will gain important knowledge and skills useful for evaluating survey data quality, and for planning and conducting self-administered surveys.  The workshop will employ real-world examples and hands-on learning activities to engage with five main topics: Survey Error, Survey Response Theory, Question Design, Nonresponse, and Visual Aspects of Survey Design.

Instructor: Liz Williams

Liz Williams is a survey research expert with more than thirty years of experience designing and conducting surveys, including phone, mail, and online surveys. In her current role, Liz directs survey research and evaluation activities to support administrative decision making within Academic Affairs and the University more broadly. She strives to achieve robust survey response rates, and collaborates with others to coordinate and centrally organize survey research activities at the University. Liz has instructed a graduate-level survey research methods course for the past decade, and has co-presented survey research methods workshops for institutional researchers at regional and national conferences. Liz has co-authored research articles in a variety of peer-reviewed journals, including The Journal of Higher Education, Research in Higher Education, and the Journal of College Student

Questions? For more information about this or any of the ISSR Summer Methodology Workshops, please contact ISSR's Director of Research Methods Programs, Jessica Pearlman (


Important: If you are registering for more than one workshop, please submit a separate registration form for each workshop, and select the appropriate fee for the length of your workshop and your academic and institutional status. We apologize for the inconvenience, but if the incorrect fee is selected your registration will be have to be resubmitted. Your original registration will be canceled and your fee returned to you.

Five College Students and Faculty

  • Five College Undergraduate and Graduate Students:  $150/person
  • Five College Faculty and Staff:  $250/person

Non-Five College Students and Faculty

  • Non-Five College Undergraduate and Graduate Students:  $275/person
  • Non-Five College Faculty, Staff and Other Professional:  $400/person

Registration note: The Five Colleges include: UMass Amherst, Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College. Registration closes for each workshop 2 full business days prior to the start date. If paying with departmental funds or personal checks, contact Sue Falcetti (

Cancellation note: In cases where enrollment is 5 or less, we reserve the right to cancel the workshop.  In cases where the registrant cancels prior to the workshop, a full refund will be given with two weeks notice, and 50% refund will be given with one week notice.  We will not be able to refund in cases where registrant does not notify us of cancellation at least one week prior to the beginning date of the workshop.