A Researcher's Experience with an Online Survey

Monday, 9 November 2015

Malena King-Jones, PhD, MS, BS, RN, CNE
Department of Nursing, Niagara University, Niagara University, NY, USA

It has been noted that there is an increase in the use of electronic survey tools in research (Allen & Roberts, 2010; Fan & Yan, 2010). Advantages and disadvantages of online survey research has been explored but not within nursing research. The purpose of this presentation is to share the researchers experience using an online survey tool to gather data from nurse faculty.
     An online survey was sent to 302 Deans/Chairpersons and 39 (12.9%) Dean/Chairpersons responded that the survey would be emailed to 1237 nursing faculty. Nurse faculty responses varied by state and region. Of the potential 1237 nursing faculty 587 started the survey and 549 completed, navigating through to the end of the survey, yielding a survey response rate of approximately 47.4% and a survey completion rate of 93.5%.
     Although the survey response rate was acceptable (Dillman, 2007); several barriers were noted while utilizing the online survey tool. Barriers encountered while administering the online survey included duplicating the institutional review board process at additional universities, regional convention attended by the deans/chairpersons, and a lack of cooperation by the faculty gatekeepers. Disadvantages noted during the process included email security and the inability to ensure participants’ authenticity or quality of their responses. Advantages discovered during the process included a high response rate, cost effective, and time saving. Using an online survey tool to collect data also allowed the researcher to securely protect and store the data.
     This presentation will explore the barriers encountered surveying nurse faculty with an online survey tool. The disadvantages of collecting data with an online survey tool and collecting data from the nurse faculty population will be presented. The advantages of utilizing an online survey tool and recommendations will be discussed. The researcher’s experience will be shared in hopes of fostering further research interest in the area of online survey research.