Differential Effects of Web-Based and Paper-Based Administration of Questionnaire Research Instruments in Authentic Contexts-of-Use
Journal of Educational Computing Research Volume 42, Number 1, ISSN 0735-6331
Questionnaire instruments are routinely translated to digital administration systems; however, few studies have compared the differential effects of these administrative methods, and fewer yet in authentic contexts-of-use. In this study, 326 university students were randomly assigned to one of two administration conditions, paper-based (PBA) or web-based (WBA), and given a set of questionnaires. Instructions were to complete the instruments in an environment of their choice, and data included reporting context characteristics. Outcomes of interest included data quality and participant affect--WBA showing a slightly higher percent of data loss and lower overall time to complete; PBA producing higher overall mean scores across measures, greater variability in responses, and higher positive affect for responding. Administration methods showed no difference on internal consistency of subscales, positive-response bias, or strength of interscale correlations. Contexts-of-use included involvement in television viewing, conversation, and other activities, raising questions about the accuracy and independence of survey responses completed in independently-chosen, uncontrolled contexts. The qualitative data demonstrated longer responses in WBA than PBA, but little difference in type and clarity of responses. (Contains 3 tables and 5 footnotes.)
Hardre, P.L., Crowson, H.M. & Xie, K. (2010). Differential Effects of Web-Based and Paper-Based Administration of Questionnaire Research Instruments in Authentic Contexts-of-Use. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 42(1), 103-133.