Maximizing Your Number of Respondents Effectively and Ethically
Total survey completions, respondent representativeness, and response rates are important measures of data quality that can increase confidence in survey results. To maximize response, NSSE works with institutions to personalize survey recruitment messages, emphasizing the survey's value for institutional improvement. Efforts to maximize response using a variety of promotional techniques can effectively complement the customary recruitment messages NSSE delivers. For example, employing learning management systems to post survey links has been found to boost response rates substantially at some NSSE participating schools. NSSE also encourages schools to coordinate their survey administration with other institutional survey initiatives as students are more likely to complete surveys when they are not suffering from survey fatigue. While determining the best way to increase response, institutions should always remember to respect students’ decision not to participate. These are but a few things to consider when trying to increase survey response in the most effective and ethical way. The remainder of this page reviews other helpful ideas and practices that institutions should consider before embarking on a successful NSSE administration.