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Web Survey Bibliography

Title Effects of Technical Difficulties on Item Nonresponse and Response Favorability in a Mixed-Mode Survey
Year 2012
Access date 30.08.2012

This study evaluates differences between responses to a quality of life survey of military recruiters offered in web and paper modes. Of the 3,997 participants, 202 (5%) reported having technical difficulties with the web survey. Common problems were trouble logging into the survey, security restrictions on personal computers, and difficulty navigating to the survey URL. Ultimately, 3,085 (77%) responded via the web and 912 (23%) responded via the paper survey. Respondents who reported facing technical difficulties when attempting to respond via the web were 2.4 times (t=2.25, p<.05) more likely to respond to the open-ended question at the end of the survey than those who did not report technical difficulties. Among those who did respond to the OEQ, technical difficulties did not distinguish respondents in terms of response positivity, constructiveness, length, and topic. Interestingly, average job satisfaction did not differ by mode (Mweb = 3.4, Mpaper=3.4) or having experienced technical difficulties (Mreported=3.4, Mnot reported=3.4). Furthermore, the negative effect of technical difficulties on OEQ response rate was not moderated by survey mode (web versus paper). Item nonresponse for the five job satisfaction items was higher for web respondents than paper respondents, but no effects were found for having experienced technical difficulties. These results illustrate a negative effect of technical difficulties on response rate for an open-ended question. However, there was no impact on the nature of obtained open-ended responses. Evaluation of a closed-ended psychometric scale, job satisfaction, provide preliminary evidence that mode, but not technical difficulties, affected item response rate but not average values. The finding regarding OEQ response rate was replicated using data from an earlier administration of the survey which indicated that respondents who reported technical difficulties were 1.7 times (t=5.57, p<.05) more likely to respond to the open-ended question at the end of the survey.

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Year of publication2012
Bibliographic typeConferences, workshops, tutorials, presentations