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Web Survey Bibliography

Title The Impact on Web Survey Drop-Out Rates of Page Number Progress Indicators Used Throughout, Near the End, or Not at All
Year 2013
Access date 29.05.2013

A common feature of Web-based surveys is a progress indicator letting respondents know how far along they are in the survey. This information can be in the form of a progress bar that steadily fills up as the survey is completed or a display of the current item or page number along with the total number of items or pages. According to Conrad, Tourangeau, & Peytchev (2004), the use of progress indicators is based on the assumption that respondents will be less likely to drop out if they see they are making progress. However, there are conflicting results on progress indicators’ effect on drop-out rates (Callegaro, Yang, Villar, 2011; Conrad, Couper, Tourangeau, & Peytchev, 2004; Matzat, Snijder, & van der Hurst, 2009). We speculate that a progress indicator might be most effective at discouraging drop-outs at the end of the survey when the respondent is close to completion. To investigate this possibility, we administered a Web-survey under three randomly assigned conditions, 1) a page number progress indicator for all 12 pages of the survey (e.g., “page 1 out of 12 pages”), 2) a page number indicator appearing only for the last 3 pages of the survey), and 3) no progress indicator. Comparing drop-outs during the first 9 pages of the survey will evaluate the impact of page numbers vs. no page numbers. Comparing drop-outs during the last three pages will allow us to consider the impact of adding the indicator near the end of the survey. The survey is being administered to a national sample of public school principals and includes questions about Common Core State Standards. Given the ambiguity that continues to surround the effect of progress indicators we anticipate that our results will add an informative perspective on the possible impact of using a hybrid approach.

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Year of publication2013
Bibliographic typeConferences, workshops, tutorials, presentations
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