E-Appointments in Empirical Field Research

Professorship/Faculty: Research Group 'Educational Processes, Competence Development and Selection Decisions in Preschool- and School Age (BiKS)'  ; Leibniz Institute for Educational Trajectories (LIfBi) 
Author(s): Lorenz, Christian ; Homuth, Christoph ; Schmitt, Monja ; Karwath, Claudia
Volume Number/Title: (2015), 1, Special issue: ‘Weighting: Practical Issues and ‘How to’ Approach
Title of the Journal: Survey methods : insights from the field
ISSN: 2296-4754
Publisher Information: Lausanne : Swiss Found. for Research in Social Sciences [u.a.]
Year of publication: 2015
Pages: 15
Language(s): English
URL: http://surveyinsights.org/?p=5431
A time-consuming part of the organization of empirical field research is the arrangement of appointments with individual participants. Often times part of the sample is hard to reach via phone. An online appointment system to facilitate the coordination of the annual family visits was tested within the scope of a German educational panel study in 2012. The participants had the opportunity to arrange their appointment online in accordance with their own scheduling needs. Roughly one quarter (n = 63) of our sample of 242 families, who had thus far been used to arranging their appointments by phone, chose the online appointment system instead. To evaluate its usability for field research and the strength of possible sample bias, the participants were asked to complete a short questionnaire as well. We can show that personal attitudes are more significant in explaining a choice in favor of the e-appointment system than socio-demographic characteristics. Overall, the e-appointment system does not increase sample selectivity bias in our survey, so that particularly for bigger samples, it is as capable as phone based arrangement systems in getting a hold of people who are hard to reach and retaining the same high process quality, while reducing the researcher’s expenditure of time and money.
Keywords: e-Appoinment, field research, sample selectivity, internet, survey organization
Document Type: Article
URI: https://fis.uni-bamberg.de/handle/uniba/21804
Year of publication: 17. June 2015