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Web Survey Bibliography

Title Video enhanced web survey
Year 2011
Access date 30.11.2012

Even if respondents do not ask for help and advice when answering a survey question, they might misunderstand its intended meaning. Providing definitions of key terms may improve validity (Conrad & Schober 2000, Peytchev et al. 2010) and is apart from that the only way of helping respondents in self-administered surveys. In Web Surveys however plain written text is not always recognized and participants seldom use definitions even though it is just one or two clicks away (Conrad et al. 2006). In addition to definitions regarding the concept measured in a survey question, written in-structions regarding the formatting of a response are important features in survey settings where no interviewer is present. Studies concerning this issue mainly deal with the presenta-tion of answer elements (e.g., Christian, Dillman & Smith 2007). However, with the invention of Web 2.0 technologies researchers have the opportunity to make use of dynamic tooltip elements in order to convey crucial information in addition to the question wording. The aim of such strategy would be to increase the proportion of res-pondents who actually take notice of the definition or instruction when answering a survey question which in turn should increase response quality. In 2011 we conducted two field experimental studies among students and employees of the Technical University of Darmstadt as well as among the general public (N1 = 3,268, N2=1,000). As part of the respective questionnaires respondents answered various questions with and without definitions of key terms of the survey question and with and without in-struction on how to fill in the answer. In a between-subjects design respondents were ran-domly assigned to an experimental condition using either tooltip technology to convey defi-nitions or instructions. Controls versions made use of either a static HTML design or pro-vided no definition or instruction at all. In order to assess the effects of the tooltip technology on respondents, we will compare re-sponse distributions in order to determine whether respondents noticed the definition or instruction and whether they considered this additional information when answering the question. Results indicate, that instructions conveyed using tooltip technology seem to be considered by respondents. More than half of the respondents exposed to the tooltip version activated the tooltip for 3 or more seconds indicating that they had enough time to actually read it. Also, compared to the version without instructions and with static instructions in the tooltip version more respondents answered a questions formally correct.

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Year of publication2011
Bibliographic typeConferences, workshops, tutorials, presentations
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Web survey bibliography (4086)