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College of Arts and Letters

Social Science Research Center

About the SSRC



Resources for ODU Faculty

How can the SSRC help you?


Are you working on a grant proposal?  Do you need an evaluation of the new teaching strategy, program or intervention you are proposing?  Do you need data collected via a survey, focus group, or other means?   If so, we can likely help you in your endeavors.  Many funding agencies require some type of evaluation to answer the questions: did you do what you said you were going to do and if so, what were the outcomes?  The SSRC has often served as the "outside evaluator" to answer those funder questions about your project.  We would be happy to meet with you to discuss research methods, data collection, and budgeting needs for your grant proposal.


Do you have students who are interested in obtaining research experience?  We provide periodic employment opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to help conduct telephone surveys, mail surveys, and other data collection tasks.  We also employ one graduate research assistant with an assistantship funded by the College.  SSRC graduate research assistants have majored in: applied sociology, international studies, linguistics, and creative writing. 


Are you teaching a research methods class?  SSRC staff have made presentations in research methods classes regarding telephone, mail, and web surveys and how to conduct research in the "real world".  Other faculty have brought their students to the Center during class-time to learn more about conducting research, to observe the CATI lab first-hand, and to discuss and ask questions about conducting social science research.  SSRC staff have also reviewed student survey instruments for class projects and given feedback about wording, format, length, and dissemination.


Are you willing/able to collect data yourself but would like some feedback about your survey instrument or other data collection tools?  We are happy to meet with faculty and other individuals who are conducting their own research to provide a fresh perspective regarding your efforts as well as constructive criticism and feedback about the overall data collection plan and tools.


Do you have data but aren't sure how to analyze it and make sense of it?  The SSRC can provide basic data summary and analysis services of most quantitative (numeric) or qualitative (text) data. 


Is there something else you need but you're not sure if the SSRC can help?  Please ask!  Stop by BAL Room 2016 or email Tancy at tvandeca@odu.edu.  Even if we can't help, we may be able to point you in the right direction of those who can.


Below are some examples of how the SSRC works with ODU faculty:


Student National Highway Transportation Survey - the SSRC is working with Asad Khattak, PhD, from Civil and Environmental Engineering to implement a web-based survey of ODU students regarding their travel patterns and behaviors.  A pilot study of a small group of students will be conducted this spring with a larger survey effort in Fall 2009.  The SSRC has been participating in conference calls with Dr. Khattak and research partners from three other Virginia Universities and the Virginia Department of Transportation.  The SSRC has provided feedback on question wording, sampling, incentives, and web administration.  The SSRC will be responsible for making contact with students, inviting them to participate in the survey and tracking responses to the survey.


Chesapeake Community-Police Satisfaction Survey - Allison Chappell, PhD, and Mona Danner, PhD, both from sociology and criminal justice, worked with the Chesapeake police department to develop survey questions and a sampling plan for a survey of Chesapeake residents regarding their perceptions of the police, crime, and neighborhood disorder. The SSRC conducted telephone interviews with 600 Chesapeake residents and provided the data to Drs. Chappell and Danner. The SSRC also provided some editing assistance with the final report to be given to the Chesapeake Police Department.


Communication Alumni Survey - the SSRC worked with Gary Edgerton, PhD, in communications to develop a survey of communication and other humanities alumni regarding their interest in a proposed Masters program in Communication and a proposed PhD program in Digital Media.  A total of 84 alumni completed surveys about the proposed degrees and the SSRC summarized the survey data in tabular and narrative format.


Foreign Languages Academic Podcasting - the SSRC worked with Betty Rose Facer, Director - Language Learning Center, to develop student and faculty survey instruments for courses in which podcasting was used by professors to try and increase pedagogical effectiveness and improve student learning outcomes.  Ms. Facer administered the surveys with help of a student worker and then returned the completed surveys to the SSRC for data entry, analysis and table development.


Commonwealth Special Education Endorsement Program Finisher Survey - the SSRC worked with Steve Tonelson, PhD, and Ann Maydosz in Education to survey students who had finished the endorsement program to determine their intentions of staying in special education. The CSEEP staff developed the survey and the SSRC conducted phone interviews with program participants.  Those who were not able to be reached via the telephone were mailed a hard copy of the survey.  A total of 450 surveys/interviews were obtained. The SSRC provided CSEEP staff with the dataset in SPSS as well as a summary of the data in tabular format.