Social Network Research Project using Collaborative Data Collection


Download this resource to see full details
In a series of assignments spanning two semester-long courses, students propose research, collect data, and analyze findings to complete an ego-network-based study. Students are provided with a survey that uses several common methods of collecting ego network data (name generators, name interpreters, position generators, resource generators) and includes additional questions likely to be relevant to many topics. In the first semester, each students proposes a research project that can be completed by using the common survey provided and at most two additional survey questions to interview a convenience sample of undergraduate students. In the second semester, a survey is compiled from the original common survey and the additional survey questions that each student has proposed to add. Each student uses this survey to interview three undergraduate students. Students enter data from their interviews in an excel spreadsheet and submit the data to the instructor. The instructor compiles the submissions into a single data set and distributes this data to students. Students analyze these data to complete the research projects that they have proposed and write a paper based on their findings. The formatting of the survey is based on the formatting of surveys created by Keith Hampton, including a survey included in TRAILS resource #9796.


Resource Type(s):
Alexandra Marin, University of Toronto 
Date Published:
Subject Area:
Social Networks 
Class Level:
College 300 
Class Size:

Usage Notes:

Download this resource to see full details
* The assignments span two courses —a large 3rd year course and a much smaller 4th year course. The proposal portion of the assignment can be used for a class of any size, but the research project would be unmanageable in a large course. * These assignments could easily be adapted...

Learning Goals and Assessments:

Download this resource to see full details
Goal 1:
1. Develop a deeper understanding of social network survey methods than can be gleaned from reading journal articles.
Assessment 1:
Goal 1. Assessed from the research proposal and final paper. Assessment is possible even from the proposal because just thinking about how to go from survey to data to findings requires students to think deeply about the survey.
Goal 2:
2. Ask sociological questions and develop hypotheses from a social network perspective
Assessment 2:
Goal 2. Assessed from the research proposal and final paper.
Goal 3:
3. Analyze social network data, interpret and present findings.
Assessment 3:
Goal 3. Assessed from the final paper.

Files for Download:

Right-click and choose "Save As..." to save file.
2. Networks Proposal Assignment.pdf
3. Network Research Assignment - Brief Proposal.pdf
4. Networks Research Assignment - Interviewing Instructions.pdf
5. Research Survey - 2012.pdf
6. Network Research Assignment - Data Entry Spreadsheet.xlsx
1. Common Survey.pdf
7. Network Research Assignment - Final Paper.pdf
Guide to Assignment Documents - START HERE.pdf