Examining Factors Impacting Online Survey Response Rates in Educational Research: Perceptions of Graduate Students

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Amany Saleh
Krishna Bista


Background: In educational research, online survey has become one of the most popular methods of data collection. Academic researchers, including faculty and students, expect and require a good response rate to their research projects for reliable results.

Purpose: In this paper, the authors examine a wide range of factors related to survey response rates in academic research. Examples include email checking habits, survey design, and attitudes toward research.

Setting: An online survey environment

Intervention: Not applicable.

Research Design:  A cross-sectional quantitative research method was used to analyze the factors that influence participants’ email survey response rate. Data were collected at a single point in time. The authors did not directly measure changes that come over time in this study.

Data Collection and Analysis: After receiving the Institutional Research Board’s approval, the researchers distributed the survey via the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Graduate Student Discussion List subscribers. A sample of 454 responses was used in the final analysis-- with a 78.9 % response rate. The authors used descriptive statistics (percentage, average mean) and inferential statistics (chi-square and correlations) to report the data analysis and findings.

Findings: Results indicated that research survey response rate was highly influenced by interests of participants, survey structure, communication methods, and assurance of privacy and confidentiality. The findings also suggested that male participants were more likely to respond to surveys if they received a reminder, and older participants were more likely to respond if they were promised a reward.

Keywords: academic research; education graduate students; online surveys; postal surveys; survey response rate


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How to Cite
Saleh, A., & Bista, K. (2017). Examining Factors Impacting Online Survey Response Rates in Educational Research: Perceptions of Graduate Students. Journal of MultiDisciplinary Evaluation, 13(29), 63–74. https://doi.org/10.56645/jmde.v13i29.487