Authors: Dena Plemmons and Michael Kalichman, 2008

One of the factors common to nearly all of the other approaches proposed for encouraging discussion is that participants must, in effect, admit publicly to their views or perspectives. This has great value, but it has two limitations. First, few such discussions will adequately sample the views of all participants. Second, some nuances and/or outlier perspectives may be missed. Surveys provide a means to address both of these limitations.

The use of surveys in a course environment can include any or all of the following components:

  • Students given responsibility for designing several survey questions to be used for assessing perceptions about a selected research ethics topic.
  • Surveys distributed electronically or as print copies for completion by students before, during, and/or after a class meeting.
  • Survey results tabulated by students and/or the course instructor.
  • Survey results used by the instructor or student presenters to illustrate the range of student views.
  • Instructor or student presenters use the survey findings as prompts for class discussion.

  • Kalichman MW (2005): Surveys as a tool for teaching scientific integrity. In: (Macrina FL) Scientific Integrity. 3rd edition, American Society of Microbiology Press.