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My class on survey sampling

I wasn’t actually so thrilled with how the course went–I last taught it a few years ago–but I thought it might help to share some of my experiences.

1. I used the excellent book by Lohr. And students always like when you follow the book.

2. That said, whenever I deviated from the straight sampling stuff and talked about modeling (for example, forecasting or missing data imputation or just an overview of regression), they loved it. Our students are much more interested in modeling than in sampling.

3. You have to decide ahead of time how much you want them to do with real data on the computer, and how much you want to have them deriving formulas. Either is ok, you just need to figure that out.

4. Stata is the standard software for survey sampling. I use R because that’s what I know.

5. Lohr’s book, like all books on surveys, is strongest on design, and weakest on analysis of surveys collected by others (survey weights and the like).

6. I assigned the Groves et al book as a supplementary text. It’s a great book, but it didn’t work so well to teach out of. It’s still probably a good idea to assign it, just so students have it as a reference.

Here’s a syllabus, a schedule of homework assignments, and some notes.