Greater demands for assessment and accountability, and the availability of online survey tools have increased the number of surveys sent to university populations. While feedback data from students as well as faculty and staff can be useful, this has also contributed to survey fatigue.
Survey fatigue affects both the response rate on surveys and the respondent population. When populations are over-surveyed, many do not respond to the surveys they are sent. Some estimates indicate that response rates on surveys have reduced from near 70% of the population surveyed down to 20% in the past two decades. It may be easy to assume that the responding population is representative of the overall population, but research has shown survey fatigue disproportionately affects minority populations which leads to skewed results.
The Office of Institutional Research strongly recommends contacting us during the planning of a survey for a large university population. For any survey that will be administered to the majority of the UC population, you must obtain permission from both the Provost Office and the UC Institutional Review Board (IRB) before implementation.
We administer large surveys and coordinate many others. Keep in mind that the information you are looking for may already be available or could be included with another survey. Additionally, we maintain a calendar of surveys and survey populations so your survey can be timed to not compete with other surveys of the same population.
Please contact Nicole Klassen when you are planning survey research so we can add it to the survey calendar and answer any questions you may have.