Many HEIs are having a hard time getting students to complete survey forms mostly due to survey fatigue. In fact, some HEIs have resorted to “blackmailing” students in that they make it compulsory for students to fill survey forms before having access to their VLE dashboards or other educational facilities. While this might get the students to fill the survey forms, it would most likely result in bad data.
In this article, we’ll be sharing some very easy and even underused ways HEIs (Higher Education Institutions) can improve their survey response rate without having to compromise data quality.
Surveys are hard work, especially when there are pictures of cute cats on Instagram. If you expect students to take time off their very busy schedules to fill a survey, even for a minute, you have to let them know exactly what they stand to gain. Creating a reward system for surveys can combat survey fatigue and increase survey participation to as high as 70%! Do not just create a reward system; create one that students would be excited to benefit from.
– Make your Respondents Stakeholders
This is one way to get students actively involved in the survey process. HEIs must learn to treat students as stakeholders in the survey process and not just lab rats. Don’t just focus on trying to capture information on how satisfied students are with a course or module. Institutions also have to show students that their voices are important in ‘directing the future of the institution through their feedback’ as Eric puts it.
– Implement real-time feedback
According to Eric, “One of the biggest factors of survey fatigue is the fact that students are constantly being asked to complete surveys and they never see the results or evidence of their feedback”. These results in what Eric describes as a “feedback loop”. The resultant effect of a feedback loop is that students do not see the importance of these surveys and therefore develop immunity to subsequent surveys. Institutions must implement a real time feedback technology that lets the students ‘see the point’ in these surveys.
– Have A Survey plan
Many higher institutions are the very masters of survey fatigue amongst students. They send out surveys whenever they please and have no respect for time. It’s even worse in institutions where survey of students isn’t regulated. This means anyone can log on and send out surveys to students resulting in excessive surveys and subsequently, survey fatigue. Poor survey organization could also result in sending out surveys during periods of peak workload or even examinations. HEIs must spend time on developing a working survey plan to ensure maximum response. Higher institutions should also make sure that surveys of students are highly regulated.