WAPOR Embarks on a Program of Educational Activities

Contributed by Mike Traugott (WAPOR Past President, 2007-2008)

Starting soon, WAPOR will begin a program of educational activities including workshops, webinars, and recorded interviews. These activities will be closely linked to the WAPOR web site and social media activities to provide access to the content.

I was very pleased to have been asked by President Marita Carballo to lead this activity, and I will be guided by advice from Janet Streicher and Sergio Wals who are members of the Education Committee. We have had some email exchanges about our plans and held our first in-person meeting in Toronto.

WAPOR is committed to a range of educational activities, but at the same time we are going to experiment with a variety of programs and formats. We will focus on best practices in public opinion research, new technologies and survey research, and new findings in public opinion. We will also try different levels of content designed for different audiences, from introductory to advanced levels; and we will include training for journalists in reporting on public opinion. Some of the guiding principles that we will apply include the following:

  • The program is meant to be a service to members and a stimulus and benefit of membership.
  • We will start the program without charges, although we will eventually have to meet costs, after we learn what they are. However, educational activities will not become a revenue stream for WAPOR.
  • We want to preserve an electronic record of our activities on the WAPOR web site.

We are thinking about a variety of activities, including workshops and short courses, webinars, and interviews with distinguished public opinion researchers. But we hope you will feel free to suggest other formats. You will have an opportunity to make suggestions in the WAPOR member survey, or you can send me an email directly (mtrau@umich.edu).

Stay tuned for more information and announcements.