ERIC Number: ED456786
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2001-Jun
What Works Best? Collecting Alumni Data with Multiple Technologies. AIR 2001 Annual Forum Paper.
Porter, Stephen R.; Umbach, Paul D.
Alumni surveys were sent to one-year alumni from a large, public research university to determine the survey format that resulted in the best response rates and the least response bias. Surveys differed in whether they were check-box or machine-scannable (optical mark recognition, or OMR) and in whether it was possible to use a Web site to complete the survey or just the paper form. Surveys were sent to 4,952 bachelor's degree recipients in four groups: (1) OMR with a Web option; (2) OMR with no Web option; (3) check-box with a Web option; and (4) check-box with no Web option. The final sample size was 4,524. Overall, 33.9% of the alumni responded over 3 months, with the group receiving the check-box plus Web option having the highest response rate (35.7%), followed by the check-box with no Web option (35.7%), the OMR with Web option (33.0%), and finally the OMR with no Web option (32.3%). Only 2% overall actually responded over the Internet. Optically machine-readable forms tended to suppress the response rates. Nonresponse bias for subgroups did not appear to be a problem, but there was some evidence of possible negative response bias in question answers, with respondents receiving the check box tended to give more negative answers than respondents receiving an OMR survey. (Contains 1 figure, 5 tables, and 16 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Institutional Research (41st, Long Beach, CA, June 3-6, 2001).