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Webinar Details

Cognitive Interviewing and its Online Implementation "Web Probing"

Dorothee Behr, Cornelia Neuert
Thursday, May 27, 2021
1:00pm Eastern Time

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About This Course:

Cognitive Interviewing and its Online Implementation "Web Probing"

In this webinar, participants will learn about the method of web probing (sometimes also called online probing) to pre-test survey questions. Web probing stands for the implementation of probing techniques derived from cognitive interviewing in web surveys. First, we will briefly introduce the general goals of pretesting and key aspects of cognitive interviewing. Then we will focus on web probing and practical aspects that come with moving to the online mode. The following topics/questions will be covered:
  • Similarities and differences between cognitive interviewing and web probing
  • Strengths (e.g. large sample size, larger geographical coverage) and weaknesses of web probing (e.g. only online population can be reached, interactive probing limited)
  • What kind of probes can successfully be asked online
  • How should probes be designed to provide the needed information (important decisions are needed e.g. regarding text box size, wording of probe, probe placement, number of probes)
  • How to implement the overall study (source for respondents, framing of study, nonresponse conversion, etc.). 
  • The webinar concludes with different scenarios and practical recommendations when each of these methods – web probing vs. cognitive interviewing – should or can be used.

Learning objectives

By the end of the course, participants will:
  • be familiar with the method of web probing
  • know the pros and cons of web probing in comparison to face-to-face cognitive interviewing
  • know what probes can be asked and how they should be designed
  • know how to implement a web probing study
Webinar Level:
About the Instructor(s):

Childs-headshot.pngDoroth̩e Behr is a cross-cultural survey methodologist and head of the team Cross-Cultural Survey Methods at GESIS РLeibniz Institute for the Social Sciences. She has a doctorate in applied translation studies (topic: questionnaire translation) from the University of Mainz. Her research and services (consultancy, training, and project involvement) focus on questionnaire translation as well as comparability of cross-national survey data, as assessed through web probing. She has been involved in two research projects at GESIS (2010-2016) that aimed at developing and optimizing the method of web probing. Since then, she has regularly used the method in different studies, mainly in the cross-national context to study equivalence of measures.

Childs-headshot.pngCornelia Neuert is a social scientist and head of the team Questionnaire Design & Evaluation at GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences. She received her doctorate degree in Sociology from the University of Mannheim. Before being appointed team leader, she has been working as research associate in the GESIS pretesting unit for over seven years. Together with the staff of the pretesting unit, she has conducted numerous cognitive pretests for various research projects and survey programs. Her research focuses on methods for testing and evaluating survey questionnaires and questionnaire design.