Employing Mixed-Mode Methodology for the National Teacher Survey on Children: An Analysis of Response Rates and Cost
Wallin, J., Fuller, K. J., Smith, K. R., Day, O. A., & Harris, S. J. (2011, May). Employing Mixed-Mode Methodology for the National Teacher Survey on Children: An Analysis of Response Rates and Cost. Presented at AAPOR 2011, Phoenix, AZ.
Researchers often employ mixed-mode designs as a method to improve survey response rates and to conserve costs. However, the literature related to the success of these designs, most notably web/mail designs shows mixed results. This paper compares the effects of a mixed-mode design (web/mail) versus a single mode (mail only) on response rates for a survey of teachers.
Our analyses are based on an experimental design implemented on the National Teacher Survey on Children, a study designed to collect data from teachers on the health and well-being of children. Teachers of Kindergarten to 12th grade students are asked to complete a short questionnaire that focuses on the child’s school achievements, development, behavior in school, social skills, relationships with classmates and teachers, and participation in school activities. For this experiment, teachers were randomly selected into one of two groups. The first group was given the choice of completing the survey by web or mail, while the second group was only offered the mail survey. Both groups received a small monetary incentive, as well as a series of reminder mailings and follow-up calls to increase participation.
Preliminary analyses suggest that providing teachers with a choice of response mode does not increase overall response rates. Further analyses will consider disparate teacher characteristics and how grade level and class size may have influenced web and mail responders. In addition, a cost analysis will be performed to determine whether any cost savings were achieved between the two groups. This paper will provide insight into the efficacy of a web/mail mixed-mode design with a national sample of K-12 teachers.