The Strengths and Challenges of Using Online Surveys: Exploring the Role of Community Colleges in Health Professions Education

Abstract

This case provides an overview of the strengths and challenges associated with online survey design, through the lens of a specific project examining the ways in which community colleges in the United States are engaged in training frontline public health professionals. In 2014, I conducted an online (web-based) survey of a U.S. audience of community college leaders working in health professions education. Because there was little prior research in this particular area, the aims of the survey were largely exploratory and provided an opportunity to better understand the work of community colleges and the perspectives of those engaged in training health professionals. In the following case, I highlight the key phases of this project and reflect on the role of online surveys as a means of primary data collection.

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