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Program is Subject to Change

Tuesday, June 15
Tue, Jun 15, 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
Understanding, Assessing, and Transitioning to Mixed Mode Collections

The path of least resistance: Changing mode to boost response rates in an establishment survey (308139)

*Maura Spiegelman, U.S. Department of Education 
Kayla Varela, U.S. Census Bureau 
Allison Zotti, U.S. Census Bureau 

Keywords: field, mixed-mode, cost

Sequential, mixed mode survey designs that begin with relatively inexpensive self-administered modes (for example, paper or web questionnaires) before transitioning to relatively more expensive modes that involve interviewers (for example, telephone or in-person interviews) may reduce total survey costs. However, respondents who are reluctant or otherwise difficult to collect data from may not respond without interviewer intervention. This research evaluates the impact of an early field intervention for hard-to-reach establishments. For the 2017-18 National Teacher and Principal Survey (NTPS), sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), sampled private schools were categorized as either “high priority” or “low priority” based on their response propensity and importance for reporting. High priority schools were randomly assigned to either be contacted by field representatives early in the data collection period (“early-to-field”), or to follow a sequential mixed mode design in which contact was first made by mail and e-mail, then by phone, and finally by in-person visits (“regular field”). This presentation evaluates the impact of the early-to-field treatment on priority schools by comparing the response rates for different NTPS survey components between schools assigned to each data collection path. In addition, the costs of the early-to-field and regular field operations and cost-per-completed case are estimated in order to better understand the data quality and financial trade-offs of early field operations in a mixed-mode survey design.