Okay, this post is basically an adaptation of the e-mail I sent my director and Head of Public Services telling them my idea about the survey. It’s somewhat repetitious from yesterday’s post, but I think I explain my rationale and thoughts about the survey a little better than I did yesterday. And the updates are included, which are:
- A print survey is probably more scientifically accurate
- Print surveys cost money for postage, paper, bubble sheets, etc. However, there are research grants available
- I looked in to the IRB human test subjects issue, and anonymous surveys don’t have to go through quite as many hoops
- I’m going to want to take a good hard look at my survey instrument and then check it again
- There’s a whole lot of statistics that I need to remember.
Basically, as you know, I am really interested in Web 2.0 technologies and their application to the law library environment. However, in conversations with my students and just seeing first hand their tech skills, I’m starting to wonder if anyone besides librarians and tech geeks are using things like RSS feeds, Twitter, blogs, etc. I checked, and there’s no hard data out there about uses and wants of law students and Web 2.0. So I thought a survey was in order.
So, first I thought I’d survey my classes. Then I expanded my idea and thought I’d survey all the LR classes. Then it grew bigger, and I thought I’d do all of UK Law. Then I just thought, well heck, I should just try to survey as many law students as I can. I’ve discussed the idea with some of my Web 2.0 mentors and pals and have received strong encouragement that this is a good idea and much needed information for the legal community.
My first thought was to do a web survey. However, in talking about it today with some people and giving it some thought, that may be a self-selecting thing if it’s on the web. So I’m thinking about a paper survey for greater scientific accuracy. I know enough people who know enough people that I could probably get it distributed pretty widely. Of course, this means money is involved for postage, printing of questions and buying bubble sheets, but oh happy day, my correspondents have also pointed out that there’s AALL research grants available.
So, right now my plan is to start simultaneously work on getting the research instrument tightened up, doing the paperwork for the Institutional Research Board human test subjects (this project is exempt because it’s an anonymous survey, but I still have to fill out a 7 page form saying so), figuring out a budget for paper, bubble sheets, postage, etc and writing for grants.