ERIC Number: ED262064
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1985-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
The Effects of Questionnaire Modification on Response Rates: A Field Experiment.
Shermis, Mark D.
The Michigan Department of Education conducts an annual follow-up survey to determine the employment and continuing educational status of students who have graduated or withdrawn from its secondary vocational education programs. This standard survey form was modified by presenting a range of values and increasing the question length to improve the rate and the quality of the data collected. Six participating districts were randomly assigned to data collection (mail, phone, or mixed) and were then randomly half-sampled. The overall response rate for both the modified mail and phone format was significantly higher than for either of the standard formats. The lack of a screening question for employment confounds whatever effects the format modifications might have made. The results indicate no pronounced pattern in the mailed item response rates. Further, it is only if the phone interviewers react positively to the form that one might expect to see improvement in overall response rates for the modified phone group. However, no systematic measures of interviewer attitudes towards the standard or modified forms were attempted. The appendices include the standard and modified forms for both the mailed questionnaire and the phone interview. (PN)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Pittsburgh Univ., PA.