Data Quality research group


Vera Toepoel delivering one-day workshop on smartphones and sensors

PUMA Methods Workshop

Vera Toepoel


Smartphones: From Surveys to Sensors

Date and time:

05.11.2018, 10:00-13:00


University of Vienna, Department of Government, Rooseveltplatz 3/1, 1090 Vienna, Seminar room

Workshop Program/Overview

The release of the first IPhone was now more than a decade ago, and smartphones have since become a mainstream device. In many countries, smartphones are replacing traditional PCs and laptops as the primary device to browse the Internet, and use social media. In the last couple of years, researchers have experimented with smartphones as a method of data collection. This short course focuses on recent studies that have aimed to study how smartphones can be used. 1. As a device to administer surveys and 2. To acquire additional behavioral data using sensors.

In particular we will discuss:

 Why you should want to do research using smartphones

 How web questionnaires should be adapted to become smartphones-friendly

 Issues related to willingness and consent to participate in smartphone studies that collect behavioral data

 How such behavioral data can potentially be used to enrich survey data, using GPS locations as an example


It is helpful if participants to the short course bring a smartphone with them. We will not do any data-analysis during the short course, but use data to illustrate and discuss how sensor data can be used alongside survey data to better understand people’s behavior and attitudes.

Course Objectives:

  • Understand why you should want to do research using smartphones
  • Learn how to make web surveys mobile-friendly
  • Understand issues around the collection and analysis of smartphones sensor data


Who Should Attend: No previous knowledge is required, although an understanding of survey methods (the TSE framework, questionnaire design) will be helpful.