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Tuesday 14th July, 14:00 - 15:30 Room: HT-105

Web-based Surveys and Mobile Devices

Convenor Professor Carsten Schröder (German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP) )
Coordinator 1Dr David Richter (German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP))

Session Details

According to figures from Germany's Federal Statistical Office, 51% of German Internet users are already using mobile devices to access the Internet.
The technical progress in communication technologies and their widespread use create new possibilities for collecting data in self-administered online surveys. Indeed, web-based surveys in combination with mobile devices like smart phones, tablet PCs, and so on are gaining rapidly in importance.
Lower costs, higher flexibility, and access to particular population subgroups are seen as the major advantages of these new technologies. At the same time, their use implies new challenges.
How should surveys be designed for these new technologies? Our session invites presentations that investigate how different devices may be combined and how they influence data quality. In particular, we welcome presentations that discuss the role of the use of a device in:
* survey errors
* self-selection
* response rates
* response patterns
* participation parameters (the number of completed questions, and the length of entries to open-ended questions)
* visual design
* survey administration

Paper Details

1. The use of Pcs, smartphones and tablets in a probability based panel survey. Effects on survey measurement error.
Dr Peter Lugtig (Utrecht University)
Dr Vera Toepoel (Utrecht University)

Respondents in an Internet panel survey can often choose which device they use to complete questionnaires: a traditional PC, laptop, tablet computer or a smartphone. Because all these devices have different screen sizes and modes of data-entry, measurement errors may differ between devices.
Using data from the Dutch LISS panel, we evaluate which devices respondents use over time. We show that measurement errors are larger on tablets and smartphone than on PCs, but that this difference is caused by self-selection of respondents into devices.

2. Unplanned use of mobile devices in a probabilistic online panel survey: Patterns of use and implications for nonresponse and attrition.
Dr Teresio Poggio (Free University of Bozen-Bolzano)
Mr Kai Weyandt (GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences)
Dr Wolfgang Bandilla (GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences)
Professor Michael Bosnjak (Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences, University of Mannheim )

We investigate the effects of unplanned mobile response in an online panel survey optimized for computers only. We focus on nonresponse and the analysis is based on the first six waves of the GESIS Panel ( The rate of unplanned mobile response, in Germany, and the pattern of device use along the six waves, is investigated. Secondly, the relationship between personal characteristics and propensity to use mobile devices along a panel survey is analysed. Finally, we test whether unplanned mobile response is related to a higher risk of breaking off and attrition.

3. Adapting Grid Questions for Mobile Devices
Ms Marika De Bruijne (CentERdata, Tilburg University)
Professor Marcel Das (CentERdata)
Professor Arthur Van Soest (Tilburg University)
Mr Arnaud Wijnant (Scientific Programmer)

The increase of mobile access to web surveys raises the need to transform surveys designed for PCs into multi-device surveys. One of the main challenges here is how to present grid questions on mobile screens. This paper presents the results of an investigation on three mobile adaptations of grids: paging, scrolling and auto-advance card-sort. These different designs were studied independently among two samples - tablet and smartphone users - in a probability-based online panel. In randomized cross-over experiments, the results of a grid-based PC survey were compared to those of the adapted mobile surveys.