Online surveys-possibilities, pitfalls and practicalities: the experience of the TELA evaluation.
Harlow, A. (2010). Online surveys-possibilities, pitfalls and practicalities: the experience of the TELA evaluation. Waikato Journal of Education, 15(2), 95-108.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/6163
Surveys are a commonly used strategy for gaining insights into teacher perspectives. They are often seen as cost effective in terms of time and resources required, but the challenges involved in conducting and processing paper-based surveys can be considerable. Online surveys offer an alternative, particularly now that people have better access to computers and the Internet, and also since the available software has recently become more user-friendly and in some cases, free to the user. In this paper, the research process used in a large longitudinal evaluation study is discussed, where teachers increasingly opted to participate in an online survey in preference to a paper survey. The possibilities of choosing to use an online survey were attractive but they came with pitfalls. The practical strategies that proved effective in engaging teachers in an online survey process and in managing online responses are discussed and considered in the light of current research literature.
Faculty of Education, University of Waikato
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