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By Valerie M. Sue

On-line surveys supply promising possibilities in today’s technological international. Conducting on-line Surveys is a entire advisor to the production, implementation, and research of e mail and Web-based surveys. Authors Valerie M. Sue and Lois A. Ritter in particular handle concerns specific to on-line survey learn equivalent to picking software program, designing Web-based questionnaires, and sampling from on-line populations.

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Qxd 2/19/2007 10:10 AM Page 25 3 Sampling I n this chapter, we examine the methods of selecting participants for Internet surveys. The decisions surrounding sample selection are critically important and should be considered in light of the survey objectives. For exploratory studies, convenience samples may be sufficient; when aiming to make statistical inferences about populations, however, it is necessary to employ a probability sampling technique. Before beginning our discussion of specific sampling procedures for online surveys, we will review some fundamental concepts related to sampling.

Another concern is the creation of “professional survey respondents”— individuals who become proficient at answering questionnaires based on familiarity with online surveys rather than the actual questions. When using a pre-recruited panel, the frequency of respondent participation should be limited to minimize this risk. qxd 2/19/2007 10:10 AM Page 30 30——Conducting Online Surveys Intercept Sampling. This procedure uses pop-up windows to invite respondents to participate in the survey. Web survey software can be programmed to issue pop-up invitations randomly or systematically, say for every nth visitor to the Web site.

This is because in a nonprobability sample it is impossible to know the likelihood of any particular participant being selected for the sample; therefore, there is no estimate of the variability in the underlying population—essential information for the calculation of a suitable sample size. ” These answers are unsatisfying and offer little guidance to investigators involved in applied research. In an attempt to offer more concrete guidelines, survey methodologists grappling with this issue have suggested the following rules of thumb, which may be useful for researchers engaged in online research with nonprobability samples (Alreck & Settle, 1995; Hill, 1998): • There is seldom justification for sample sizes less than 30 or larger than 500.

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