### Device Usage in Web Surveys

As I have been working on a web survey, I'm following more closely the devices that people are using to complete web surveys. The results from Pew make it seem that the younger generation will move away from PCs and access the internet through portable devices like smart phones. Some of these "portable" devices have become quite large.

This trend makes sense to me. I can do many/most things from my phone. I heard on the news the other day, that 25% of Cyber Monday shopping was done with tablets and phones. But some things are easier to do with a PC. Do surveys fit into the latter group?

Peter Lugtig posted about a study he is working on that tracks the device used in waves of a panel survey. It appears that those who start on a PC, stay on a PC. But those who start on a tablet or phone are more likely to switch to a PC. He also notes that if you used a tablet or phone in an early wave, you are less likely to do the survey at all in the next wave.

I didn't read the paper (there is a link on the blog). I'm wondering about explanations. Could the experience be improved to avoid driving respondents to other devices or, worse, non-participation? Would that require formatting/design changes? Or reduction in length? If not, is it better to push respondents (in the panel context) to use a PC instead if this means getting more data (i.e. fewer persons for more waves)?

### "Responsive Design" and "Adaptive Design"

My dissertation was entitled "Adaptive Survey Design to Reduce Nonresponse Bias." I had been working for several years on "responsive designs" before that. As I was preparing my dissertation, I really saw "adaptive" design as a subset of responsive design.

Since then, I've seen both terms used in different places. As both terms are relatively new, there is likely to be confusion about the meanings. I thought I might offer my understanding of the terms, for what it's worth.

The term "responsive design" was developed by Groves and Heeringa (2006). They coined the term, so I think their definition is the one that should be used. They defined "responsive design" in the following way:

1. Preidentify a set of design features that affect cost and error tradeoffs.
2. Identify indicators for these costs and errors. Monitor these during data collection.
3. Alter the design features based on pre-identified decision rules based on the indi…

### An Experimental Adaptive Contact Strategy

I'm running an experiment on contact methods in a telephone survey. I'm going to present the results of the experiment at the FCSM conference in November. Here's the basic idea.

Multi-level models are fit daily with the household being a grouping factor. The models provide household-specific estimates of the probability of contact for each of four call windows. The predictor variables in this model are the geographic context variables available for an RDD sample.

Let $\mathbf{X_{ij}}$ denote a $k_j \times 1$ vector of demographic variables for the $i^{th}$ person and $j^{th}$ call. The data records are calls. There may be zero, one, or multiple calls to household in each window. The outcome variable is an indicator for whether contact was achieved on the call. This contact indicator is denoted $R_{ijl}$ for the $i^{th}$ person on the $j^{th}$ call to the $l^{th}$ window. Then for each of the four call windows denoted $l$, a separate model is fit where each household is assum…

### Is there such a thing as "mode"?

Ok. The title is a provocative question. But it's one that I've been thinking about recently. A few years ago, I was working on a lit review for a mixed-mode experiment that we had done. I found that the results were inconsistent on an important aspect of mixed-mode studies -- the sequence of modes.

As I was puzzled about this, I went back and tried to write down more information about the design of each of the experiments that I was reviewing. I started to notice a pattern. Many mixed-mode surveys offered "more" of the first mode. For example, in a web-mail study, there might be 3 mailings with the mail survey and one mailed request for a web survey. This led me to think of "dosage" as an important attribute of mixed-mode surveys.

I'm starting to think there is much more to it than that. The context matters  a lot -- the dosage of the mode, what it may require to complete that mode, the survey population, etc. All of these things matter.

Still, we ofte…