Achieving respectable response rates to surveys on university campuses has become increasingly more difficult, which can increase non-response error and jeopardize the integrity of data. Prior research has focused on investigating the effect of a single or small set of factors on college students’ decision to complete surveys. We used a concurrent mixed-method design to examine (1) college students’ rationales for choosing to complete or not complete a survey presented to them and (2) their perceptions on the importance of multiple factors on their decision to complete or not complete surveys in a higher education setting. A total of 837 undergraduate and graduate students across five institutions in the state of Ohio completed the qualitative survey component, 808 completed the 72-scenario close-ended survey component, and 701 completed the rank- order component. The survey was administered in the classroom either at the beginning or end of the class period. The college students reported that the person administering, topic, incentives, length, and method of administration are the factors most influencing their decision to complete a survey. The undergraduate students were significantly more likely than graduate students to include incentives as one of the top three important factors in deciding to complete a survey. Qualitative results additionally revealed that the students felt day/time and location of survey request plays an important role in their decision. Recommendations are provided to survey administrators regarding potential effective and ineffective survey recruitment strategies.
Koskey, Kristin L. K.; Cain, Bryce; Sondergeld, Toni A.; Alvim, Henrique G.; and Slager, Emily M.
"A Mixed-Methods Investigation of Factors and Scenarios Influencing College Students’ Decision to Complete Surveys at Five Mid-Western Universities,"
Mid-Western Educational Researcher: Vol. 27:
1, Article 2.
Available at: https://scholarworks.bgsu.edu/mwer/vol27/iss1/2