Technology options for engaging respondents in self-administered questionnaires and remote interviewing
Moving away from in-person interviewing and toward self-administered questionnaires (SAQs) reduces costs but also raises questions about data quality. Without an interviewer present, respondents may lose their engagement with the survey, leading to breakoffs and greater measurement error. One way to potentially reduce these errors is to leverage new technologies to enhance respondent engagement. Another is to use remote interviewers, which is more budget-friendly than in-person interviewers. In this paper, we describe new technology options to keep respondents engaged with SAQs and harness remote interviewing capabilities: mobile data collection, short message service and instant messaging, video interviewing, and virtual worlds. Drawing from literature and professional experience, we discuss the functioning and implications of these recent technologies for respondent engagement and additional indicators, such as respondent burden, accuracy, and retention. This paper serves as a starting point for researchers considering technological options for conducting SAQs or remote interviews to reduce costs while continuing to engage respondents without sacrificing quality.