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ESRA 2023 Glance Program

All time references are in CEST

Live video interviewing in survey practice 1

Session Organisers Dr Dina Neiger (The Social Research Centre)
Mrs Emma Farrell (Australian Bureau of Statistics)
Mr Tim Hanson (European Social Survey (City, University of London))
Mr Brad Edwards (Westat)
Dr Andrew Hupp (University of Michigan, Survey Research Center)
Dr Frederick Conrad (University of Michigan, Institute for Social Research)
TimeTuesday 18 July, 16:00 - 17:00
Room U6-05

Whether it is called ‘video assisted live interviewing’ (VALI), ‘video interviewing’ (VI) or a label that includes both ‘computer-assisted’ and ‘video’ terms, many research organisations around the world have added video communication technology to their suite of data collection methods. While the feasibility of live video interviewing was investigated prior to 2020, the approach was thrust into the mainstream as a result of COVID-19 pandemic that made in-person, face-to-face interviewing impractical or impossible at short to no notice for most data collection contexts. The method is now being extended into a number of longer-term or ‘business as new normal’ situations.

We are looking for survey methodology submissions about surveys conducting interviews via live video. Our focus is on video interviews for quantitative surveys. Household and establishment surveys are of equal interest. How has video interviewing faired across different types of surveys (for example subject matter, interview length, population), recruitment approaches and technology set ups? What kind of adjustments to survey content, data collection procedures, materials, has the medium made necessary? What other benefits or promises have resulted from using the method.

Experimental studies are welcome but not necessary. Qualitative evaluations, exploratory research and theoretical musings about intriguing respondent or interviewer behaviour which may be helpful for other organisations embarking on using the method are also within scope.
The intent of the session is to explore advancements in and barriers to video interviewing around the world and to encourage survey practitioners involved in video interviewing to present papers exploring and reporting on the application of this method in practice and implications for total survey error and survey operations.

It is hoped that this session would be of interest to survey practitioners experienced in the use of video interviewing as well as those who are interested

Keywords: live video interiviewing


Video-Assisted Personal Interviewing: Opportunities and Challenges

Professor Gabriele Durrant (University of Southampton) - Presenting Author
Dr Tim Hanson (City University, London)

The Covid-19 pandemic had a significant impact on survey data collection methods and led to a rapid move to online data collection. The pandemic was also a catalyst for development of new, innovative data collection approaches, such as video-assisted personal interviewing (VAPI). In addition, in-person surveys face many challenges including increasing costs and pressures on the interviewer workforce, again increasing trends to move to online data collection. However, long and complex surveys or those involving elements such as cognitive assessments or collection of data linkage consents can be difficult to move online. VAPI can be a cost-effective alternative, particularly in longitudinal surveys. VAPI represents hence a potentially promising approach to longer-term online data collection beyond the Covid-19 pandemic. Given these trends, it is important to better understand video-interviewing, including the effects of the changes on data quality, measurement and analysis and questions around design and implementation.
This presentation will focus on VAPI and will review existing evidence. We aim to answer some of the following questions: How can video interviewing be optimally designed? What is the data quality of the data obtained from video interviewing? Who are the people responding via live interviewing and can we determine selection bias? Is video interviewing a feasible option for (online) data collection (also post-pandemic)? We will draw particularly on evidence from UK social surveys. We will report on findings from the ESRC-funded Survey Data Collection Network (SDC-Net), hosted under the National Centre for Research Methods (NCRM), and the Methodological Special Interest Group (MSIG) on Video Interviewing. (If by then available, we will also report on findings on video-interviewing from a new UK-based ESRC-funded collaboration project on Survey Data Collection Methods.)

Video interviewing on the European Social Survey

Mr Tim Hanson (City, University of London) - Presenting Author
Mr Roberto Briceno-Rosas (GESIS)
Ms Jasmine Mitchell (City, University of London)

The COVID-19 pandemic presented many challenges for surveys that usually rely on in-person data collection. This includes the European Social Survey (ESS), which has been conducted biennially across over 30 countries since 2002, with all countries delivering in-person samples at each round based on a central specification.

In the ESS Round 10 (2020-2022), some modifications were made to the specification, which reflected the challenges of a face-to-face approach in the context of the pandemic. This included, for the first time on ESS, allowing video interviews as a complementary method to in-person interviewing. Around 15 countries offered video interviewing.

This paper will summarise the video interviewing approach used on ESS and describe how elements of this varied between countries. We will share the prevalence of video interviews achieved in each country, present results from respondent and interviewer ‘interview experience’ questions, share findings on technical difficulties reported, and summarise feedback received from ESS national teams on their experience of video interviewing. Our paper will also include an assessment of the impact on sample composition from the addition of video interviewing.

We will conclude by considering the future of video interviewing beyond the pandemic. This will include an assessment of the factors which made the approach more or less successful across ESS countries, and what this may imply for the future use of the method.

Experiences of video interviewing in two UK national cohort studies

Mrs Carole Sanchez (Centre for Longitudinal Studies (CLS)) - Presenting Author
Mr Matt Brown (Centre for Longitudinal Studies (CLS))
Mrs Kirsty Cole (NatCen)
Mrs Kate Taylor (NatCen)

Using video interviewing to conduct social surveys is relatively new but interest in this mode accelerated considerably during the COVID-19 pandemic. At the time of the outbreak in March 2020, the 1958 National Child Development Study (NCDS) was in-field with the Age 62 Survey and the 1970 British Cohort Study (BCS70), Age 50 Survey was due to launch. Both surveys were planned to be conducted face-to-face. Ongoing uncertainty with regard to future infection rates and associated restrictions made it difficult to gauge when resumption of face-to-face visits would be possible. The surveys are long, complex and involve cognitive assessments and health measurements which made switching to web or telephone data collection difficult. It was felt that video-interviewing had the potential to be the best way forward.
We conducted a series of successful pilots which explored the feasibility of conducting the interviews via video prior to launching both surveys with a video-only approach. Now restrictions have been lifted and it is possible to do face to face interviewing we are continuing to offer video-interviews as an alternative mode to those who do not wish to take part face to face. To our knowledge, the use of video interviewing in these studies represents the largest scale use of this new approach in any major social survey.
In this paper we will describe some of the key challenges arising including how to implement the video interview, interviewer training requirements and adapting protocols to enable the administration of cognitive assessments and collection of highly sensitive information via video. We will present findings on response rates achieved, initial findings on the impact of video interviewing on data quality and will consider the future potential of video interviewing as a mode of data collection for population surveys.