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Dissertation survey

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Dissertation survey

Postby khalid.mwam » Sun Dec 24, 2017 12:53 pm

Hi people

If anyone could take a few minutes to fill in my survey about preferred microphones that would help me out massively, please follow the link bellow :)

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/NR6FLV7
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Re: Dissertation survey

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sun Dec 24, 2017 2:42 pm

Hi Khalid and welcome to the SOS forums.

I've had a quick look at your survey and I'm a little confused as to its purpose. The mic options are rather odd and restrictive, and the subject areas too vague and undefined. For example, I'd make very different choices for recording flute depending on whether the context was a classical orchestra, a jazz group, or a solo performance.

Perhaps you could be more informative about your aims, or more detailed in your questions.

And you've included the U87 twice in the last question.

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Re: Dissertation survey

Postby Wonks » Sun Dec 24, 2017 2:47 pm

Also, many people will pick 'other', but they may have several 'others', and there is no way of marking these 'others' out of 10 in the same way as the pre-selected mics.
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Re: Dissertation survey

Postby Dave B » Sun Dec 24, 2017 3:35 pm

Tough one. For most of the questions, if I'd not used that mic I've gone with n/a but that could also mean that I don't think that it's an appropriate mic'ing choice.

I get confused very easily it seems. :)

Oh - and mic'ing up an acoustic guitar and no mention of SDCs? hmmnn
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Re: Dissertation survey

Postby John Willett » Tue Jan 02, 2018 8:08 pm

What a wierd survey???

I would not choose any of the microphones listed and had to choose "other" in every case and then list several of the microphones i would choose for the job.

It looks like someone with no knowledge of microphones just picked a few at random ???

I cannot se any use in such a survey.

It would have been far better to have no choice at all and ask people what microphone they woud use for each option and why they woud coose it - then compile a list with the results - THIS would have been much more meaningful.
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Re: Dissertation survey

Postby The Elf » Tue Jan 02, 2018 11:05 pm

Sorry, I'm also with the guys above. If you're looking for meaningful results you need to re-think this survey.

A small point, but also check your spelling. It doesn't matter much to me, but anyone who will judge you by your results may frown upon some of the typos in there.
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Re: Dissertation survey

Postby ReadySaltedChris » Wed Jan 03, 2018 8:32 am

The 'dissertation survey' seems to have become very much a thing with students these days.
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Re: Dissertation survey

Postby ef37a » Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:10 am

I have not even looked at the OP's survey but I am hissed off with 'surveys' in general.

You cannot buy something, investigate a product or get treated at the hospital it seems nowadays without some one wanting your impressions.

I refuse to play along. As stated above, the choices decided by the 'surveyor' limit what you want to say and you know full well that 99% of the time the survey is 'political', it is just there to fool us that 'they' care and are seen to be doing something (I have complained, DONE surveys for 5 yrs on and off about Maplin's crazy search engine. AND spoken to shop staff who know it is crap. NEVER changes or improves!) .

I reserve my greatest anger for 'polls' from NHS depts. They serve no purpose and I hate the idea of some swanky PR firm taking MY tax money!

Dave (Yes, I know SoS have done surveys but very comprehensive and less than annually iirc?)
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Re: Dissertation survey

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:42 am

ReadySaltedChris wrote:The 'dissertation survey' seems to have become very much a thing with students these days.

It is. A lot of courses include creating and analysing a survey as a core skill, and in principle I don't think that's a bad idea at all. The only downside is that forums like ours are often asked to assist in that learning process... but isn't that a large of part of what this forum is here for?

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Re: Dissertation survey

Postby ConcertinaChap » Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:49 am

ReadySaltedChris wrote:The 'dissertation survey' seems to have become very much a thing with students these days.

They do, don't they? I think it's because in first degrees nowadays you have to do a dissertation with some research (my wife did one for her music degree, on the history of English carols - there's a seasonal note). These surveys are clearly viewed as an easy option for "research".

This survey seems a particularly incompetent example. If the OP wants to research his subject properly he should arrange interviews with people and spend time talking to them, that sort of thing. Contacting people who might be willing to be interviewed (on the phone or in person) might be arranged through this hallowed forum. But that's clearly too much like work.

The other thing that particularly annoys me is that (with a couple of honourable exceptions) we never hear anything from the survey poster again. If the student learns something useful from the survey then it might also be useful for us too. And a thank you never goes amiss.

No, I think I'll be giving them a miss in future too.

CC

Edited to add PS: my post crossed with Hugh's, who is clearly a finer and more tolerant person than me :)
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Re: Dissertation survey

Postby MarkOne » Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:54 am

ef37a wrote:I have not even looked at the OP's survey but I am hissed off with 'surveys' in general.


Indeed!

And in fact, by and large, for those 'satisfaction' surveys you get all the time, all they are really interested in is the first 'would you recommend [insert service/product/etc. here] 1-10. Because they want to be able to calculate theirNet Promotor Score

Probably because some middle management type has read that NPS is a really useful tool to gauge customer satisfaction, and they can put it in their Key Performance Indicator report that the board gets every month. (You can tell, in my day job I work for a big corporation :) )

Whenever I get such a survey with the obvious NPS question, I automatically score 7 or 8 as this makes me a 'passive' and this result is discarded as irrelevant to the score. If we all did this, then pretty soon NPS would fall out of favour and they would stop using the bloody thing.

Creating surveys that are easy to complete, and provide useful results is almost a science in itself. And as some of you have pointed out it's easy to have a survey that has confusing questions, limits choice too much or does not provide the means to give meaningful answers. My advice to people is, unless you really know what you are doing, avoid surveys all together and find another way to glean the information...

In this example, perhaps. "What mics would you use in situation x?"
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Re: Dissertation survey

Postby Mike Stranks » Wed Jan 03, 2018 10:12 am

Quick 'n' easy... (for the student).

A few years ago one of my colleagues was doing a part-time Masters. As I was the charity's audio-producer it was natural that she asked my advice about recording telephone interviews... Turned out that she was doing in-depth interviews with 'experts in the field' to feed into her dissertation.

Because I was set-up at home as a self-contained broadcast studio I had all the kit to connect phone-lines to a mixer and hence record the output. She spent three full afternoons in my studio recording interviews to feed into her dissertation... Now THAT's research...!
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Re: Dissertation survey

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Jan 03, 2018 10:14 am

ConcertinaChap wrote:I think it's because in first degrees nowadays you have to do a dissertation with some research. These surveys are clearly viewed as an easy option for "research".

I don't think they are considered 'an easy option' by the course creators. As we have all seen, it's actually very hard to write a survey to acquire genuinely valid information. But they are a requirement of a great many courses these days as the associated skills and experience are deemed worthwhile.

This survey seems a particularly incompetent example.

That's a bit harsh CC. If students knew how to do everything perfectly, they wouldn't need to be students, would they?

The survey is a part of the student's learning process. If forum members don't want to help that's absolutely fine -- no one is forcing them to take part or venture an opinion on the effort. However, participating and offering constructive and supportive feedback is of a great deal more help to the poster. ...and at the end of the day, the raison d'etre of these forums is to be helpful and supportive to those who are at the lower end of the experience and knowledge curves.

If the OP wants to research his subject properly he should arrange interviews with people and spend time talking to them, that sort of thing.

That is a valid alternative approach... but it's a very different form of research and one that doesn't require or allow statistical analysis, so it's a very different technique. It should also be noted that posting a survey here doesn't imply that the student hasn't or won't carry out interview-based research at another time during the course.

Contacting people who might be willing to be interviewed (on the phone or in person) might be arranged through this hallowed forum. But that's clearly too much like work.

Again, I think you are doing students in general a disservice. I know for a fact that some do seek interviews to research dissertation topics as I get three or four requests most months for interviews from students researching particular topics, and especially so around this time of year -- and I know PW does as well. In fact I put one in touch with Paul Ward just before Christmas as I didn't have a lot of spare time and the topic was on loudspeaker design.

As for approaching this forum for suitable candidates, I don't think that's likely. If a student is going to seek an interview it generally needs to be with someone having a recognisable, verifiable and relevant profile and, with the best will in the world, few forum members can be counted in that context as most are deliberately anonymous.

The other thing that particularly annoys me is that (with a couple of honourable exceptions) we never hear anything from the survey poster again.

Is that really a surprise when they receive the kind of antagonistic responses exhibited in parts of this thread? But yes, I agree that it would be better if they took the time to report their findings. But then they are students, and probably have more fun things to do after hitting their delivery deadlines... :-)

And a thank you never goes amiss.

True... but to be fair, most do thank participants in advance.

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Re: Dissertation survey

Postby ef37a » Wed Jan 03, 2018 10:28 am

Hugh, I am sure I recall that the SoS survey was followed up and we were given results and comments in the magazine (and probably at ML? )

This is not the case with 99.999% of surveys. WE never see the results nor get any idea whether things will change. (never do)

NHS surveys HAVE to be a bad thing. Either it takes time away from medical staff who are already overstretched or WE are paying some other fat cats to do them!

Oh! And the Beeb do them as well. Never seen hide nor hair of any results. Again, MY money!

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Re: Dissertation survey

Postby Mike Stranks » Wed Jan 03, 2018 10:39 am

Hugh:

You move in these Higher Education circles.... why the focus on surveys by course developers and lecturers? As you've said yourself above, they're a very difficult thing to get right and from which to gain meaningful results...

Is part of the intention to evaluate HOW the survey was framed and conducted as well as to evaluate the conclusions drawn? Do students get any guidance on framing the survey or is it a case of "Go and do a survey..."?

On the subject of surveys, over 40 years ago I was on an HND-equivalent course in Systems Analysis... We spent some time on fact-finding - and why surveys were the poorest form of fact-finding... so why the seeming emphasis on them in some parts of Higher Education?
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Re: Dissertation survey

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Jan 03, 2018 10:45 am

ef37a wrote:Hugh, I am sure I recall that the SoS survey was followed up and we were given results and comments in the magazine

Yes, when SOS does a marketing survey (which isn't that often) the results are reported to the readership after analysis. I agree that this is 'a good thing'... but it's not always so easy (or possibly desirable) for other organisations to report the findings of their own surveys.

It seems we've had the season to be jolly, and now it's the season to be curmudgeonly! :-D

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Re: Dissertation survey

Postby ef37a » Wed Jan 03, 2018 10:51 am

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
ef37a wrote:Hugh, I am sure I recall that the SoS survey was followed up and we were given results and comments in the magazine

Yes, when SOS does a marketing survey (which isn't that often) the results are reported to the readership after analysis. I agree that this is 'a good thing'... but it's not always so easy (or possibly desirable) for other organisations to report the findings of their own surveys.

It seems we've had the season to be jolly, and now it's the season to be curmudgeonly! :-D

H

Don't get that Hugh? If they can stop your screen with a *&^&y survey request they can surely give an Email link where we can see the results in due course?
As for your last sentence? Bah! Humbug!

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Re: Dissertation survey

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Jan 03, 2018 10:59 am

Mike Stranks wrote:You move in these Higher Education circles....

Not really... I dance around the edges these days... but I like to ask questions about the course structures when I get invited to visit. :-)

why the focus on surveys by course developers and lecturers?

I'm not sure 'focus' is the right term -- it's a very small part of the overall course -- and some of our forum members who work in higher education can probably answer much better than I can. However, I have found that many courses do include some work on survey techniques and analysis. It's a 'transferable skill' like so many others...

As you've said yourself above, they're a very difficult thing to get right and from which to gain meaningful results...

Indeed... and learning that is a useful outcome. It's an introduction into a very common aspect of modern life, like giving presentations, or writing dissertations. ;-)

Is part of the intention to evaluate HOW the survey was framed and conducted as well as to evaluate the conclusions drawn? Do students get any guidance on framing the survey or is it a case of "Go and do a survey..."?

I'm sure this will vary greatly with the quality of the teaching staff. But from those I have discussed it with I gained the impression that considerable guidance was given on the how and what beforehand, as well as in-depth analysis of the students' survey's results afterwards to evaluate their effectiveness and validity.

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Re: Dissertation survey

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:03 am

ef37a wrote:If they can stop your screen with a *&^&y survey request they can surely give an Email link where we can see the results in due course?

Yes they could... and then everyone could complain about the spammage too! Some survey results won't get published because the results are commercially sensitive or politically embarrassing. But I think most are made available in some limited form or other as part of marketing and promotional materials, and journalists often dig them out when relevant to the public interest -- such as in A&E waiting times or surgery deaths etc...

As for your last sentence? Bah! Humbug!

Quite so! :lol:
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Re: Dissertation survey

Postby The Elf » Wed Jan 03, 2018 12:14 pm

The people asking for our information could be our sons, daughters, husbands and wives. There aren't faceless machines. I accept that I could be naive, but I'm happy to help anyone who asks for it in the hope that it will do some good somewhere.

This accepted, my help may sometimes be to advise them that they aren't asking the right question!
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