Web Survey Bibliography
In this paper we relate our experiences in maximising response rates for very long (over 100 questions) questionnaires and consider the ways in which these methods may be improved in the future. Many of our projects, especially m the Human Resources and Healthcare fields, have consisted of questionnaires of more than 50 questions in length. By using what we have learnt from analogue reports and from response rates. we have introduced a number of ways to facilitate survey completion for these long questionnaires and increase response rates. In particular:
The layout and presentation style chosen for particular groups of questions can often make question blocks appear simple or complex to answer.
Creative routing can eliminate many unnecessary questions, making questionnaire completion easier and quicker.
If questionnaires ask the same set of questions for a number of different phenomena e.g. particular types of medication, or a number of different job descriptions using text substitution in subsequent pages can shorten the questionnaire and, additionally, facilitate analysis for the researcher.
Saving and loading question responses
This allows a respondent to complete as much of the questionnaire as he/she wishes to in one session. The respondent can then return to the same PC to continue entering data into the same questionnaire at the page that they left. If the respondent needs to search out the information while completing the questionnaire this is an essential function.
If the respondent must answer several questionnaires where some sections may be near-identical, once the first set of responses are submitted, selected sections may be pre-filled with previously entered replies.
Menu bar linking to pages
A menu bar can be inserted showing links to page numbers, or question ranges on each page. A menu can be used along with the above.
This paper gives examples of these methods and provides guidelines for best practice for designing long questionnaires on the Internet. It will be of interest to all those considering the use of Internet and intranet hosted forms for collecting record-based and other informational questionnaire data. It will also be useful for those for whom the advice 'keep it short' is simply not an option.
Web Survey Bibliography - Westlake, A. et al. (Eds.): The Challenge of the Internet. Proceedings from the 'The Challenge of the Internet' conference, organized by Association for Survey Computing, 2001 (4)
- Designing Lengthy Internet Questionnaires: Suggestions and Solutions; 2001; Wojtowicz, T.
- Publishing a Major Government Report in Electronic Format - the Implications for Social Researchers; 2001; Walker, A., Connor, S.
- The Promises and Perils of Web Surveys; 2001; Couper, M. P.
- An Open Data Model for the MR Industry: The Challenge and the Promise; 2001; Andrews, P.