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Web Survey Bibliography

Title Factors Contributing to Participation in Web‐based Surveys among Italian University Graduates
Year 2009
Access date 22.11.2009


‐university Consortium1 conducts a yearly survey aimed at monitoring the employment opportunities of Italian graduates 1, 3 and 5 years after earning their degree. The survey makes it possible to analyse labour market trends through an examination of university graduates’ career opportunities. The traditional survey carried out via CATI has been integrated during the last few years by use of CAWI survey techniques. This has been made possible by a high and steadily increasing availability of graduates’ e‐mail addresses, which are generally up‐to‐date since they are provided by graduates themselves in their online CVs. Initial uses of CAWI have concerned specific phenomena requiring a short data collection period and low costs. The use of CAWI has become increasingly crucial over time due to the high number of graduates involved in the survey – over 287,000 graduates were interviewed in 2008 – which has mandated a reduction in survey duration and costs. However, in order to achieve the usual, high response rates of ALMALAUREA surveys on employment, CAWI cannot be the only survey technique used. At the moment, in fact, the two survey techniques (CAWI and CATI) coexist in the same survey project. ‐6 weeks each, have produced response rates ranging from 31 to 49 percent. Although the surveys have different characteristics – in terms of topics, question texts, duration of data collection, day of the week and time of day when data collection starts, number of reminders sent, and so on – a preliminary analysis revealed a common trend: the utmost participation of graduates is observed during the first few days immediately after the beginning of the survey itself; afterwards, there is a gradual reduction in participation. Moreover, the contribution given by reminders is valuable and immediate: each time a reminder has been sent there was an increase in the number of questionnaires answered, but they have a limited effect over the course of time. The analysis of response rate trends reveals that the final response rate is particularly connected to the participation rate recorded during the initial days of data collection. ‐selected sample. ‐selection under check by intervening on the most relevant variables.

The frequent use of CAWI over the last few years has determined two needs: firstly, the evaluation of factors that determine the success of the survey in terms of overall participation; secondly, the specification of a model that enables ALMALAUREA to have an ex ante forecast of the final response rate. The analysis presented in this paper will focus on approximately ten CAWI surveys conducted during the last few years. They mostly regard the employment opportunities of graduates one or more years on from graduation. Sometimes ad hoc surveys have also been carried out to explore more specific topics, e.g., graduates’ opinion on interculturalism.

These surveys, which lasted about 3

The first objective of this paper is, therefore, to find a function that calculates the overall response rate achieved during an online survey on the basis of both contextual factors (i.e., the elements that are peculiar to the survey) and individual factors (i.e., the characteristics of the population). Thanks to the wide range of information2 available to ALMALAUREA a preliminary descriptive analysis highlights the fact that respondents of online surveys comprise a self

The second objective of this paper is to develop a logistic regression model in order to identify the variables that most influence graduates’ probability of participating in an online survey and calculate their net effect. In this way it will be possible to maximise the success of the survey and to keep self selection under check by intervening on the most relevant variables.

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Year of publication2009
Bibliographic typeConferences, workshops, tutorials, presentations

Web survey bibliography (4086)