Using smartphone sensors, apps and wearables in social science research - Online
|NCRM, University of Southampton|
Bella Struminskaya and Florian Keusch
18/05/2021 - 20/05/2021
Online run by University of Southampton
View in Google Maps (SO17 1BJ)
Smartphone sensors (e.g., GPS, camera, accelerometer), apps, and wearables (e.g., smartwatches, fitness bracelets) allow researchers to collect rich behavioural data, potentially with less measurement error and lower respondent burden than self-reports through surveys. Passive mobile data collection (e.g., location tracking, call logs, browsing history) and respondents performing additional tasks on smartphones (e.g., taking pictures, scanning receipts) can augment or replace self-reports in surveys. However, there are multiple challenges to collecting these data: participant selectivity, (non)willingness to provide sensor data or perform additional tasks, privacy concerns and ethical issues, quality and usefulness of the data, and practical issues of implementation. This course will address the challenges by reviewing state-of-the-art practices of smartphone sensor, app, and wearables data collection, ranging from small-scale studies of hard-to-reach populations to large-scale studies to produce official statistics, and discuss design best-practices for this type of measurement. Recommendations provided will include:
• What research questions can be answered using smartphone sensors, apps, and wearables?
• What are participants’ concerns and how to address them?
• How to ask for consent for sensor measurements and ensure participation?
As part of this course, participants will have the chance to work on practical issues of implementing smartphone sensors, apps, and wearables into social science research. Participants will discuss their own research study designs using new technology and have the opportunity to present the scenarios of combining survey data with data from health, accelerometery, and location sensors. The course will not discuss analysis of sensor data, nor demonstrate how to program smartphone sensor apps.
The course covers:
By the end of the course participants will:
The course is intended for survey practitioners, researchers, and students who want a practical introduction to smartphone sensors, wearables and app-based research. No prior knowledge of smartphone sensors, wearables, and apps is required, but a basic understanding of survey practice and survey errors is helpful.
Please note for payment purposes, this is a 3-part course which is the equivalent to 2 days of teaching.
Programme - TBC
Day 1 (approx. 3 hours)
Day 2 (approx. 3 hours)
Day 3 (approx. 3 hours)
Entry (no or almost no prior knowledge)
The fee per teaching day is:
Website and registration
Survey Research, Survey and Questionnaire Design, Nonresponse, measurement error, data quality , Sensors and wearables
Related publications and presentations