ERIC Number: ED411292
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997-Mar
E-Mail Survey of a Listserv Discussion Group: Lessons Learned from Surveying an Electronic Network of Learners.
Meehan, Merrill L.; Burns, Rebecca C.
An electronic survey of a listserv discussion group, the Interdisciplinary Teamed Instruction (ITI) group, was conducted to learn more about the group and to explore surveying electronically. A 10-question survey was posted electronically, as were respondents' replies. Three reminders were posted over the 3-week reply period. The number of subscribers was estimated at 250 in the United States and 6 foreign countries. Twenty-three completed surveys were returned in the first 24 hours, and only 26 more were completed in the next 3 weeks, for a final response rate of 23.6%. Results suggest that the listserv is an active community of learners. They also demonstrate that defining the real population becomes a technological problem. If one were to hypothesize that an active electronic community would respond better than other groups to a survey, these results would not support the hypothesis, although respondents to the initial effort provided very rapid responses. The major implications of the research approach are: (1) to calculate an accurate response rate, it is crucial to determine the exact number of listserv subscribers before first posting the survey; and (2) more efforts should be put into an electronic survey before its first posting, such as announcements. The survey text is attached. (Contains 11 references.) (Author/SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Appalachia Educational Lab., Charleston, WV.
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Chicago, IL, March 24-28, 1997).