Do we lose panel participants when switch to online mode? Evidence from Russian Panel Study “Trajectories in Education and Career”
Jul 27, 09:00
This paper provides an outline of experience of mixed-mode data collection in Russian panel study ‘Trajectories in Education and Career’ (TrEC). TrEC national cohort is a longitudinal follow-up of TIMSS (Trends in Mathematics and Science Study) 2011 8th grades participants which is conducted yearly. The initial sample included 4893 respondents of 210 schools from 42 regions of Russia (see trec.hse.ru for details). As TIMSS sample is school-based, in the first waves respondents were available for survey in their schools. In the second and third waves, when respondents were in general schools or vocational schools, self-completion questionnaires were the main mode of data collection, the response rates equaled 84% and 87% of the TIMSS sample correspondingly.
In the fourth wave (2015) all the respondents left schools, many entered universities, changed addresses etc. This demanded a revise of data collection strategy and Institute of Public Opinion Foundation (survey company) chosen to use mixed-mode data collection approach. Respondents could choose between personal interview or self-completed questionnaire, telephone interview and on-line questionnaire. Response rates decreased to 74% in this wave, and three fourth of this wave participants were surveyed online.
Interestingly response rates (of TIMSS sample) of the following waves increase again and achieved 79% in 2016 and 81% in 2017. At the same time, share of on-line modes also rose to 94% of all interviews in 2017. On other words, switch to mixed-mode resulted switch to virtually 100% on-line mode design.
Did those who had preferred offline modes dropped out of the survey? Or they also switched to online later? Who did we lose when we switched to online? We try to answer these questions in this paper. We compare characteristics of those who prefer online and offline modes, characteristics of respondents and non-respondents and reasons for non-response in last 3 waves.