Survey is a systematic method for gathering information from (a sample of) entities for the purposes of constructing quantitative descriptors of the attributes of the larger population of which the entities are members. The word “systematic” is deliberate and meaningfully distinguishes surveys from other ways of gathering information. The phrase appears in the definition because sometimes surveys attempt to measure everyone in a population and sometimes just a sample. According to Masri Singarimbun (1995:3), survey is a research which is taking sample from a population by using questioner as an instrument in collecting data.

Some characteristics of survey:

a.     Information is gathered primarily by asking people questions.

b.    Information is collected either by having interviewers ask questions and record answers or by having people read or hear questions and record their own answers.

c.    Information is collected from only a subset of the population to be described a sample rather than from all members.


             Investigator must determine the format of survey that is most appropriate for the purposed investigation. Survey are classified to their focun and scope (cencus and sample surveys) or to the time frame for data collection (longitudinal and cross sectional surveys). Becoming a guide to researcher to select method that will provide the most useful data.

a.    Survey Classified According to Focus and Scope

             There are four classifying of survey according to focus and scope:

 1) Census of tangibles

 2) Census of intangibles

 3) A sample of tangibles

 4) A sample survey of intangibles

 b.    Survey Classified According to The Time Dimension

They gather information at different points in time in order to study changes over extended periods of time. For example, studying the development of quantitative reasoning in elementary school children would select a sample of first graders and administers a measure of quantitative reasoning. This same group would be followed through successive grade levels and tested each year to assess how quantitative reasoning abilities develop over time.

 1) Panel studies

 The same subjects are surveyed at different times over an extended period of time.

2) Trend studies

Different people from the same general population thus each year from 2000 6th graders are surveyed over at different times perhaps 2001, 2001, 2005 to understand the trend of this particular population.

3) Cohort studies

A specific population is followed over a length of time.


It is incumbent on the researcher to clearly define the target population. There are no strict rules to follow, and the researcher must rely on logic and judgment. The population is defined in keeping with the objectives of the study.

Sometimes, the entire population will be sufficiently small, and the researcher can include the entire population in the study. This type of research is called a census study because data is gathered on every member of the population.

Usually, the population is too large for the researcher to attempt to survey all of its members. A small, but carefully chosen sample can be used to represent the population. The sample reflects the characteristics of the population from which it is drawn.

Sampling methods are classified as either probability or nonprobability. In probability samples, each member of the population has a known non-zero probability of being selected. Probability methods include random sampling, systematic sampling, and stratified sampling. In nonprobability sampling, members are selected from the population in some nonrandom manner. These include convenience sampling, judgment sampling, quota sampling, and snowball sampling. The advantage of probability sampling is that sampling error can be calculated. Sampling error is the degree to which a sample might differ from the population.

When inferring to the population, results are reported plus or minus the sampling error. In nonprobability sampling, the degree to which the sample differs from the population remains unknown.

Random sampling is the purest form of probability sampling. Each member of the population has an equal and known chance of being selected. When there are very large populations, it is often difficult or impossible to identify every member of the population, so the pool of available subjects becomes biased.

Systematic sampling is often used instead of random sampling. It is also called an Nth name selection technique. After the required sample size has been calculated, every Nth record is selected from a list of population members. As long as the list does not contain any hidden order, this sampling method is as good as the random sampling method. Its only advantage over the random sampling technique is simplicity. Systematic sampling is frequently used to select a specified number of records from a computer file.

Stratified sampling is commonly used probability method that is superior to random sampling because it reduces sampling error. A stratum is a subset of the population that share at least one common characteristic. Examples of stratums might be males and females, or managers and non-managers. The researcher first identifies the relevant stratums and their actual representation in the population. Random sampling is then used to select a sufficient number of subjects from each stratum. “Sufficient” refers to a sample size large enough for us to be reasonably confident that the stratum represents the population. Stratified sampling is often used when one or more of the stratums in the population have a low incidence relative to the other stratums.

Convenience sampling is used in exploratory research where the researcher is interested in getting an inexpensive approximation of the truth. As the name implies, the sample is selected because they are convenient.

Judgment sampling is a common nonprobability method. The researcher selects the sample based on judgment. This is usually and extension of convenience sampling. For example, a researcher may decide to draw the entire sample from one “representative” city, even though the population includes all cities. When using this method, the researcher must be confident that the chosen sample is truly representative of the entire population.

Quota sampling is the nonprobability equivalent of stratified sampling. Like stratified sampling, the researcher first identifies the stratums and their proportions as they are represented in the population. Then convenience or judgment sampling is used to select the required number of subjects from each stratum. This differs from stratified sampling, where the stratums are filled by random sampling.

Snowball sampling is a special nonprobability method used when the desired sample characteristic is rare. It may be extremely difficult or cost prohibitive to locate respondents in these situations. Snowball sampling relies on referrals from initial subjects to generate additional subjects. While this technique can dramatically lower search costs, it comes at the expense of introducing bias because the technique itself reduces the likelihood that the sample will represent a good cross section from the population.


There are two basic ways in which data are gathered in survey research: interview and questionnaires. Each has two option, thus providing four different approaches to collecting data: personal interview, telephone interview, meiled questionnaire, and directly administered questionnaire.

A questionnaire, survey instrument, and statement form are all variations of the same thing, a formal, written set of close-ended and or open-ended question, in paper or electronic form, designed to measure a specific set of population characteristics through collection of information from a subset or the entirety of the population of interest.

The process of administration of the questionnaire may be: (a) . self-administered (b) . administered face-to-face by an interviewer  (c)  administered over the telephone by an interview.

Designing a questionnaire is a complex process. Care must be taken to create questions of clear and simple meaning, laid out in such a way as not to confuse the respondent (in self-administered surveys) or the interviewer (in non-self-administered surveys). In addition:

a.   From a technical point of view.

b.   From an ethical point of view


The Survey Technique: Six basic steps are involved in survey research: (a). Planning, (b). Define the population, (c). Select a representative sample (d). Construct an instrument: questionnaires or interviews (e). Field test the instrument. (f). Process the data.


There are a number of steps that need to be done in the process data processing, namely: (a) editing, (b) encodes the data or codification data, and (c) make the tabulation.

a. Editing

Some things to consider in the editing of data, namely:
1) Is the data is complete and perfect?
2) Is the data is clear enough to be able to read his writing?
3) Are all records can be understood?
4) Are all data has been fairly consistent?
5) Is the data quite uniform?
6) Is there an inappropriate response?

b. Codification Data

The data collected can be a number, short or long sentences, or simply “yes” or “no. ” For ease of processing, then the answers should be given the code. Giving code to respindent answer is very important, if data processing is done by computer. Encodes the answer is to put a number on each answer.

c) Tabulation Cards

If you want the data processed by manual, the code can be written in the cards tabulation. Code that entered into the previous tabulation cards, have also been compiled in a book code. Book code for tabulating cards is tantamount to the code book for coding sheet.

Making tabulations included in the data processing work. Make tabulation than entering data into the tables, and arrange the figures so that it can count the number of cases in various categories.


The survey is widely used research method for gathering data ranging form physical counts and frequencies to attitute and opinion. They should involve careful planning, unbiased sampling of population, throughtful development of data gathering instrument, and careful analysis of the result.

If you need complete about Survey you may download here (Microsoft word):

1. Definition & type of Survey

2. Selecting Sample

3. Data Gathering Technique

4. Data Analysis

5. Conclusion


Ary, Donald. (2002). “Introduction to Research in Education” (6th ed). Northern Illinois University

Sutopo, A.H. & Adrinus Arief. (2010). “Terampil Mengolah Data Kualitatif Dengan NVIVO”. Kencana Prenada Media Group. Jakarta

Shodiq, Muhammad & Imam Muttaqien. 2009. “Dasar-Dasar Penelitian Quantitatif”. Pustaka Belajar. Yogjakarta.

Singarimbun, Masri & Sofian Effendi. (1989) “ Metode Penelitian Survey. LP3ES. Jakarta.

Walford, G. (ed.) (1998) Doing Research about Education, London, Routledge.

Categories: RESEARCH
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