Tips on getting high response rate on CoI survey?

The Community of Inquiry Forums CoI Research – Discussion Forum Tips on getting high response rate on CoI survey?

This topic contains 7 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by Avatar of Helen Dolan Helen Dolan 9 years, 4 months ago.

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  • #1045
    Avatar of Merica McNeil
    Merica McNeil


    I would like to use the CoI (Community of Inquiry) survey for research on an online class and would like to get a high response rate. Does anybody have any tips on getting a high response rate from students in an online class? The pool of possible participants is very small (one online class that I’m interested in) so I would like to get very high response rate.

    As an aside, I recently tried to recruit target students to fill out the CoI survey and only 1 student in the class replied. (Part of the problem was probably timing, and that they were also asked to fill out the course evaluation which was emphasized much more. Students were invited to fill out the CoI survey, if they were interested in helping out with this optional research project. They were also sent a reminder email).

    If it helps to have an idea about the students in this fully online class: they are over 18 and are taking this fully online, asynchronous course to learn the basics of how to teach English. An idea would be to appeal to these students who are learning to be teachers about the value of the CoI concepts. Since the CoI survey should be anonymous, it seems like it would be difficult to really require it as part of the class, although maybe there is a way to do that on the course management system somehow?

    Another idea: to motivate people to complete the CoI survey, maybe the anonymous results could be shared with the class? I’m not sure if that would be very appropriate, comfortable for the teacher of the online course, or would be OK with IRB… Also, the curriculum of the course is already quite full and focuses on preparing them to teach English normally face-to-face.

    Any tips would be most welcome! I’m very eager to hear your ideas on getting a high response rate on the CoI survey in this online class. Thank you very much in advance!


    1. #1086
      Avatar of Helen Dolan
      Helen Dolan

      Hi Merica and all,

      I have been following this discussion with great interest because I too will be administering the CoI survey at the end of the current semester. I echo Merica’s concerns about the response rate. Adding another dimension to this thread, I am using a mixed methods approach for my study of social, cognitive and teaching presence: the qualitative phase runs from February 9 – March 8, while the CoI questionnaire will be be accessible to the students beginning March 22. I should note that, for the qualitative phase, I am asking students (five sections of four different courses) to use journalling as a means of expressing their emotional responses to online learning.

      I know that it’s still early (the study just opened a week ago), but I am very concerned about the deafening silence from the prospective volunteers. I anticipated that I would have received at least a comment or a question by now.

      Any thoughts would be tremendously appreciated. I have visions of a thesis with no data…which is not even a thesis in the first place! Yikes.


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