ERIC Number: ED192848
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1977
Reference Count: N/A
Telephone Interview vs. Mass Mailing for Student Follow-Up: Final Report.
Sheldon, M. Stephen
A study was conducted at Los Angeles Pierce College (LAPC) to test the relative reliability of small-sample telephone interviewing and large-sample mailings with postcard and telephone reminders for student follow-up. The study involved conducting a telephone survey of 245 former students who had enrolled at LAPC in four program areas, and a mail survey of 625 former students from the same program areas. Results indicate that 18% of the sample surveyed by mail returned questionnaires spontaneously. The postcard reminder added less than 2% to the response rate and the subsequent telephone reminder yielded an additional 1%. The telephone survey, conducted by student workers, produced a 50% response rate. Of those who did not respond, 16% were not available, 3% refused to participate, and 30% had disconnected phones or had moved. Cost estimates indicate that 100 returns would require an expenditure of $20 more for telephone interviewing than for mass mailing. Despite the cost advantage of the mail survey, it was determined that the telephone interviews were more reliable, in that the response rate was higher and because conclusions or generalizations based on low, volunteer mail returns were hard to justify. The study report details the sampling procedure utilized during the course of the study and provides data tables and the questionnaires. (JP)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Los Angeles Pierce Coll., Woodland Hills, CA.