The leading association
of public opinion and
survey research professionals
American Association for Public Opinion Research

Virtual Conference Schedule of Events

9 A.M. – 5 P.M. Eastern Time                   
8 A.M. – 4 P.M. Central Time                      
7 A.M. – 3 P.M. Mountain Time
6 A.M. – 2 P.M. Pacific Time
2 P.M. – 10 P.M. Central European Time                   
June 8, 2020 Short Courses
9:00 AM – 12:30 PM EDT Quick Lessons for Communicating and Visualizing Quantitative Information ​(Regina Nuzzo)
2:00 PM - 5:30 PM EDT Employing Text Analytics for Survey Data ​(Joe Sutherland)
June 9, 2020 Short Courses
9:00 AM – 12:30 PM EDT Cognitive Interviewing and Psychometrics for Improving Validity of Survey Questions (José Luis Padilla)
2:00 PM - 5:30 PM EDT Essential Tools for Working in R for Public Opinion and Survey Researchers ​(Brady West)
June 10, 2020 Short Course
9:00 AM – 12:30 PM EDT Text Messaging​ for Conducting Survey Interviews ​
(​Frederick Conrad, Andrew Hupp, and Michael Schober)
Sponsored by 
2:00 PM EDT Student/Early Career Virtual Mixer
Evening AAPOR All Chapter Virtual Mixer
June 11, 2020 Day 1 of Conference
All Day Virtual Exhibit Hall Open
9:00 AM - 10:00 AM EDT Coffee Hour with Exhibitors in the Virtual Exhibit Hall
10:00 AM – 10:55 AM EDT Conference Kickoff sponsored by 
All-Attendee Session: Public Opinion and COVID-19

I’m Still Calling! A Fun Tribute to All Public Opinion and Survey Researchers
Break Virtual Exhibit Hall
11:00 AM – 12:30 PM EDT Concurrent Sessions A sponsored by 
12:30 PM – 1:15 PM EDT Attendee Celebration and Awards Banquet
1:15 PM – 2:45 PM EDT Concurrent Sessions B sponsored by 
Break Virtual Exhibit Hall
3:00 PM – 5:00 PM EDT All-AAPOR Poster Session and Poster Award Contest
Concurrent Sessions C sponsored by 
75th Anniversary: Interactive Digital History Timeline and Tributes
June 12, 2020 Day 2 of Conference
All Day Virtual Exhibit Hall Open
9:00 AM - 10:00 AM EDT Coffee Hour with Exhibitors in the Virtual Exhibit Hall
10:00 AM – 10:55 AM EDT Presidential Address by 2019-2020 President Nora Cate Schaeffer

Immediately following the Address: New Books Launch Party!
Break Virtual Exhibit Hall
11:00 AM – 12:30 PM EDT Concurrent Sessions D sponsored by 
12:30 PM – 1:15 PM EDT Poster Awards and New Books & Activity Winners
1:15 PM – 2:45 PM EDT Concurrent Sessions E sponsored by 
Break Virtual Exhibit Hall (last chance to complete your Treasure Hunt)
3:00 PM – 5:00 PM EDT Annual Business Meeting
Virtual Exhibit Hall

The 2020 Conference will include five short courses to enhance your learning experience (see rate). These in-depth, half-day courses are taught by well-known experts in the survey research field and cover topics that affect our ever-changing industry. The 2020 Short Courses include:

Course 1: Quick Lessons for Communicating and Visualizing Quantitative Information Text Messaging​ for Conducting Survey Interviews
Course 2: Employing Text Analytics for Survey Data
Course 3: Cognitive Interviewing and Psychometrics for Improving Validity of Survey Questions
Course 4: Essential Tools for Working in R for Public Opinion and Survey Researchers 
Course 5: Text Messaging​ for Conducting Survey Interviews
Short Course Details
Course 1
Title: Quick Lessons for Communicating and Visualizing Quantitative Information  
Date: Monday, June 8, Morning

Course Overview:
Communicating quantitative research is hard: somehow we need to quickly fit a mass of complex, abstract information into other people’s brains using just words, colors, and shapes — all while keeping our audience awake and interested. In fact, it’s rather remarkable that we ever manage to achieve this at all, and not terribly surprising that much of our data communication attempts are destined just to sow more confusion or frustration. 

But it can be better. Happily, we can borrow principles from other fields (cognitive psychology, psychophysics of perception, science communication, and linguistics, for example) to take a very human-centered approach to quantitative communication. We can use tips and strategies to make our communications experience smoother and our products more understandable and engaging. In this hands-on workshop we will reverse-engineer examples of quantitative communication to see how they work (or why they don’t), practice applying those principles in real situations, and learn how to troubleshoot and improve our own written and graphical communications. This is a course on communication, not grammar; non-native English users and those with recurring nightmares from freshman English are welcome.

Regina Nuzzo, Ph.D., is the Senior Advisor for Statistics Communication at the American Statistical Association. She has a doctorate in statistics from Stanford University and graduate science writing training from the University of California Santa Cruz. Her writing has appeared in the Los Angeles TimesNew York TimesScientific AmericanScience NewsNew Scientist, and Nature, among others.​

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Course 2
Title: Employing Text Analytics for Survey Data
Date: Monday, June 8, Afternoon

Course Overview:
In this short course, participants will learn how to produce informative analyses from the unstructured text of survey responses. We begin with a primer on the theory of content analysis, and how computers scale content analysis using the techniques of natural language processing. Then, we review common tools for the analysis of text data, including bag-of-words analysis, n-grams, readability, “keyness” or likelihood-ratio statistics, word clouds, topic modeling, and how to relate these text-based derivatives to other survey quantities of interest through regression. Finally, we hold a “hands-on” colloquium where attendees have the opportunity to apply these techniques to answer questions of substantive interest in politics: we analyze responses from a nationally representative sample of voters polled in the lead-up to the 2016 election, which has been used in the past to study the phenomenon of affective polarization. The course will be taught in R, at a beginner-to-moderate level.

Joe Sutherland
 is an expert in the application of text analytics to the social sciences, and has used his experience to lead several groundbreaking data science initiatives for a diverse clientele of Fortune 500 clients, including Coca-Cola, GlaxoSmithKline, UPMC, JPMorganChase, Goldman Sachs, and Marriott. His career has spanned numerous technical and operational roles at venues including The White House, Columbia and Princeton. His academic research is published in top peer-reviewed outlets and received a citation from the National Science Foundation in 2017. Presently, he is a Research Fellow at Johns Hopkins. 

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Course 3
Title: Cognitive Interviewing and Psychometrics for Improving Validity of Survey Questions
Date: Tuesday, June 9, Morning

Course Overview:
There is a wide consensus about how elusive to validate survey questions can be for national and international survey projects. New approaches to such a difficult problem advocate for integrating qualitative methods like Cognitive Interviewing (CI) with quantitative results like those provided by psychometrics. The aim of the short course is to present a practical, comprehensive approach to integrate CI and psychometrics in mixed-methods pretesting projects of survey questions. Course attendees will learn how to plan a mixed-methods CI and psychometric study: designs, materials (interviews protocols, templates for analyses, software, etc.). I will also teach how to integrate and report qualitative findings from CI with quantitative results obtained by psychometrics. Practical examples of mixed-methods DIF studies will be analyzed using data bases of national and international surveys, and findings of CI pretesting studies. Finally, the general structure to build validity arguments of the intended interpretations for survey questions, how to communicate results to survey managers, clients, journal articles, etc., and the implications of the mixed methods pretesting results for survey errors will be also discussed.

Jose-Luis Padilla
is a Professor at the Department of Methodology of Behavioral Sciences at the University of Granada (Spain). His current research focuses on cognitive interviewing, web probing, psychometrics, validity, and mixed methods. He is co-authors of articles and book chapters on cognitive interviewing and psychometrics, and currently is serving as co-editor of Methodology, the official journal of the European Association of Methodology. Spanish Statistics commissioned him to conduct survey questionnaire adaptations and pretesting. He is also member of QUEST group and served in the organizing and publication committees of the QDET2 conference.

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Course 4
Title: Essential Tools for Working in R for Public Opinion and Survey Researchers 
Date: Tuesday, June 9, Afternoon

Course Overview:
This proposed short course will provide an up-to-date overview of essential tools for working in R for public opinion and survey researchers. The target audience includes AAPOR conference attendees with R experience and attendees who have never used R. The short course will be presented in a very hands-on fashion, and registered participants will get electronic instructions for installing and starting the R Studio software on their personal laptops prior to the short course. Topics that will be covered include using the tidyverse for data management and cleaning, using R markdown to document code and results for collaborators, computing and using survey weights, survey data analysis using the survey package, and state-of-the-art tools for data visualization. Participants will also be provided with electronic versions of annotated, working code and data sets prior to the short course, enabling participants to easily follow along without making errors in typing code during the short course.

Brady T. West 
is a Research Associate Professor in the Survey Research Center at the Institute for Social Research on the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor (U-M) campus. His current research interests include the implications of measurement error in auxiliary variables and survey paradata for survey estimation, survey nonresponse, interviewer effects, and multilevel regression models for clustered and longitudinal data. He has co-authored books comparing statistical software packages in terms of their mixed-effects modeling procedures (Linear Mixed Models: A Practical Guide using Statistical Software, Second Edition, 2014) and on survey data analysis (Applied Survey Data Analysis, Second Edition, 2017).

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Course 5
Title: Text Messaging for Conducting Survey Interviews
Date: Wednesday, June 10, Morning
Sponsored by

Course Overview:
Text messaging is an emerging option for survey researchers. This short course presents recent findings and emerging practices about inviting participants to complete a questionnaire (via text message or another mode) and asking survey questions and collecting answers via text messages. Text messaging has particular qualities that distinguish it from other survey modes and that provide particular advantages for respondents and researchers but also new challenges.  The short course first focuses on experimental evidence on data quality and the nature of the interaction in text messaging interviews, as well as on efficiency of texting: the number of attempts required to contact sample members, the amount of time required to complete the sample, the possibility of conducting multiple text interviews simultaneously, and the benefits of automated vs. human-administered texting. The course then focuses on practical aspects of implementing text messaging in the survey process, including designing for respondents whose mobile phones are not smartphones or whose network connections are not ideal, whether to allow free-text responses or only single-character responses, and how many questions can realistically be asked via text message. Finally, we discuss regulation and privacy concerns (e.g., compliance with the GDPR and the US Telephone Consumer Protection Act [TCPA]).

Frederick Conrad, Andrew Hupp, and Michael Schober
 have conducted joint research on new survey modes such as text message interviews and video-mediated interviews.

Conrad is a Research Professor at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research, where he directs the Program in Survey Methodology. His research generally concerns the reduction of survey measurement error.

Hupp is a Survey Specialist Senior in the Survey Research Center at the University of Michigan. His research interests include designing and implementing systems for mixed mode data collections, incorporating newer modes, understanding the impact these modes have on the quality of data.

Schober is Professor of Psychology and Vice Provost for Research at The New School in New York City. His survey methodology research examines interviewer-respondent interaction, respondent comprehension, and how existing communication modes not yet widely used for survey data collection might affect data quality.

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Notice to Federal Employees

The Annual AAPOR Conference conforms to the OPM definition of a “developmental assignment.” It is intended for educational purposes; over three quarters of time schedule is for planned, organized exchange of information between presenters and audience, thereby qualifying under section 4101 of title 5, United States Code as a training activity. The AAPOR Conference is a collaboration in the scientific community, whose objectives are to provide a training opportunity to attendees; teach the latest methodology and approaches to survey research best practices; make each attendee a better survey researcher, and; maintain and improve professional survey competency.