Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton
The Alan Turing Institute

NCRM Short Course: Smartphones and Mobile Sensors in Online Surveys Event

18 - 19 June 2019
University of Southampton, Building 39, Highfield, SO17 1BJ

For more information regarding this event, please telephone Jacqui Thorp on 023 80 594069 or email .

Event details

The National Centre for Research Methods (NCRM) is running a short course on Smartphones and Mobile Sensors in Online Surveys on 18-19 June 2019 at the University of Southampton. The course is very reasonably priced at £30 a day for UK/EU students and £60 a day for UK academic staff, ESRC researchers and charity workers. Professor Mick Couper from the University of Michigan and Dr Peter Lugtig from the Utrecht University, who are the world leaders in the field, are the main presenters on the course.


Mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) are increasingly being used by respondents to complete Web surveys. This presents a number of design challenges for survey researchers. Smartphones also offer a number of added possibilities for survey designers, such as the use of GPS to track movement, apps to trigger measurement at set times (ecological momentary assessment), the possibility of capturing images, and other features. This course will focus on the design implications of the rise of mobile device use for survey research. The research evidence will be reviewed, and the various options for accommodating mobile Web users will be discussed. The challenges of using the enhanced features of mobile phones for general population surveys will also be reviewed on day 1 of the course.

The day 2 will start with the discussion of data quality in mixed-device online surveys in the UK.

Also on day 2, we will further explore the opportunities and challenges of doing mobile surveys through a browser or via an app. We will zoom in on the types on contextual data that can be collected using mobile phone sensors. Such data include data on movement (e.g. to measure activities), locations or the environment (light, noise). Participants can work with an example dataset derived from an app that tracked respondent and measured their geo-locations.

The course is focused on situations where respondents are using their own devices, i.e., the designer has little control over the device used. Participants are encouraged to bring their own example surveys to the course to discuss.

Find out more information about this course via NCRM Training

Privacy Settings