ESRA logo

ESRA 2023 Glance Program

All time references are in CEST

Using surveys in educational context and for the study of youth and children 2

Session Organiser Professor Dirk Schubotz (Queens University Belfast)
TimeWednesday 19 July, 16:00 - 17:30
Room U6-01a

This session reports on various aspects of survey research in the Higher Education sector, including substantive applications and administrative management. After the presentation of a classromm-based survey during distance learning, from an Australian context, we will hear about two interventions/programmes that aim to foster leadership potential among university graduates. The session also includes a paper from the UK Data Service which discusses how survey datasets are used as educational tools in research methods teaching in Higher Education. Finally we hear about the use of surveys as administrative tools in Higher Education settings

Keywords: education, youth


Conducting a Classroom-Based Survey During Distance Learning

Mr Till Stefes (Ruhr-University Bochum) - Presenting Author

UWE („Umwelt, Wohlbefinden und Entwicklung“ = “Environment, Wellbeing and Development”) is a classroom-based, repeated cross-sectional study. It set out asking every youth in grades 7 and 9 in two Ruhr-Area municipalities about their wellbeing, everyday life, and social resources, every other year since 2019. Before COVID hit Germany, researchers went into classrooms, presented the project, and handed out questionnaires while answering all kinds of questions about it.

In 2021, schools were either closed or classes were split in learning-at-home and learning-in-school-groups, and the situation was changing every week. Schools in one of two municipalities (town A) did not want to continue, yet we were committed to conduct it. In the second municipality (town B), schools agreed to cooperate. Their handling of the situation and equipment for online-surveys differed wildly. The greatest challenge has always been obtaining parents’ consent to survey their children, which is mandatory in Germany. Without teachers as “mediators”, it was particularly difficult.

In town A, we contacted subjects by letter via drawing of official registry data samples. Letters included information for parents and youths, a shortened link, a unique 4-digit code and corresponding QR-code leading to an online-survey. We had to shorten our questionnaire substantially to hold the completion rate at an acceptable level. In town B, schools chose from four different modes (online questionnaire / paper questionnaire; researchers present via video-conference / introduction-video plus survey manual for teachers).

Response rates dropped dramatically, completion rates moderately. Only 19% of the youths we had contacted in three letters during six weeks answered the survey (2019: 65%). In town B, we had 47% of our targeted population fill out questionnaires during school-hours (2019: 72%). Completion Rates were above 95% before and sunk to 82% and 87% respectively.

A sequential survey approach to examine the impact of international postgraduate scholarships on women’s leadership outcomes

Ms Amanda Haddow (Australian Council for Educational Research) - Presenting Author
Ms Leyna Clarke (Australian Council for Educational Research)

The Australia Awards are an Australian government investment providing postgraduate scholarships to emerging leaders from developing countries globally. Until recent years, little was known about the long-term outcomes for these scholarship graduates. This paper discusses the design and implementation of a research program developed to collect and analyse evidence of scholarship graduate outcomes. Using a sequential research design, the program begins with a large-scale global survey and then uses subsequent surveys and case studies to provide a deeper contextual insight into the trends influencing graduate outcomes. This design is explained using the example of research into the leadership outcomes of Indonesian scholarship graduates.

This paper focuses on two recent surveys examining the impact of postgraduate scholarships on recipients, particularly women. A 2021 Longitudinal Global Tracer Survey of nearly 1000 graduates revealed women, who completed their scholarship more than a decade ago and are in the mid to late point of their career, were less likely than men to be in formal leadership roles by a 10 percentage point disparity. However, they were as likely as their male counterparts to report positively across other career progression measures, such as increased responsibility and remuneration. This longitudinal survey identified a need to understand better how international postgraduate scholarships contribute to the leadership outcomes for women.

A sequential survey focused on 42 women graduates within this cohort from Indonesia to better understand their career and leadership experiences. This survey revealed outcomes that enabled women to undertake their work with greater ability but did not enable them to navigate strict advancement policies and hierarchical leadership cultures.
This paper will be helpful for researchers interested in the objective and subjective aspects of labour market outcomes, particularly in approaches to better measure and understand the contribution of higher education to women's attainment of leadership.

Survey data as a pedagogical hook in UK social science higher education teaching

Dr Jennifer Buckley (University of Manchester (UK Data Service))
Dr Vanessa Higgins (University of Manchester (UK Data Service))
Miss Alle Bloom (University of Manchester (UK Data Service)) - Presenting Author

Scholarship on the pedagogy of research methods emphasise the important role of data as a pedagogical hook that can make research methods engaging and knowable to students. In this paper, we explore what data lecturers actually use in their teaching and how and why they use it. The session draws on findings from a UK Data Service consultation that combined a survey and interviews. The study demonstrates the widespread use of survey data in teaching while highlighting challenges lecturers face in establishing ‘what works.’ The session will explore the factors shaping what works including the work involved in finding and preparing data for teaching as well as orientations towards teaching quantitative research and data skills as part of a broader curriculum. In exploring these issues, we present ideas for supporting and enhancing the use of survey data in teaching.

Using social network analysis to understand networks of emerging leaders

Ms Leyna Clarke (Australian Council for Educational Research) - Presenting Author
Ms Amanda Haddow (Australian Council for Educational Research)
Dr Sarah Buckley (Australian Council for Educational Research)

The Australia Awards provide scholarships to people from developing countries to study tertiary education in Australia. The program aims to equip recipients with the skills and knowledge to drive change, contribute to the development of their own countries and develop networks with each other and with Australians. Until recently little has been known about the scholarship’s graduate outcomes. This paper focuses on exploring the networks alumni of these scholarships have developed with each other, using Social Network Analysis.

This session will present findings from a case study conducted in 2021 with a specific group of Australia Award alumni who participated in the Australia Awards Leadership Program (AALP) in 2013 and 2014. The AALP was designed to build leadership and strategy reform skills among participating alumni and to develop cross-country partnerships through networking between participants. A social network survey was used to examine the connections developed between alumni during their participation in a face-to-face workshop during the program. The survey also investigated whether these connections were maintained in 2021 via five networks - for developing connections with Australia, for seeking job advice, for sharing work-related information, for seeking leadership advice and for informal reasons.

The survey received 123 alumni respondents and a further 123 alumni did not respond but were nominated as social contacts by their alumni peers. Social network analysis showed that 90 percent of alumni reported developing connections with their peers during the program. Furthermore, 78 per cent reported maintaining connections with other AALP alumni up to eight years later. Connections alumni developed spanned across regions demonstrating the impact of the program on building cross-country connections. The use of social network analysis and survey techniques allowed for the exploration of these networks and provided an innovative approach for evaluating the efficacy of the AALP