, Volume 42, Issue 1, pp 266-272

Differences in responses to Web and paper surveys among school professionals


This experiment investigated the effects of survey administration mode (Web vs. paper and pencil) and survey length (short or long) on the responses of a large sample of primary and secondary school professionals in the U.S. The 812 participants in this study were part of an initial random sample of 1,000 individuals representing 5.81% of the membership of a national professional organization. The participants were randomly assigned to each of the four treatment conditions. Results indicated (1) substantially lower response rates for Web surveys than for same-length paper surveys; (2) a higher response rate for short surveys than for long surveys with paper, but not Web, questionnaires; and (3) a younger age for Web respondents, as compared with their paper counterparts. In light of prior research, we suggest that paper-and-pencil methods be used for surveying professionals in primary and secondary school settings.