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American Association for Public Opinion Research

Webinar Details

From Landline to Online:Why and How a National Household Survey Transitioned Sampling, Recruitment

Sarah Grady, M.S.
Thursday, April 25, 2019
12:00 Noon Central Time

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About This Course:

This webinar will present the what, why, and how of the National Household Education Survey (NHES) decisions to transition from a landline telephone survey to a mail survey after 2007 and from a mail survey to a web-first sequential mixed-mode survey for 2019.
Recruitment Phone Letter Letter
Data collection Phone Paper Web and paper
NHES is a set of cross-sectional household surveys that was started in 1991 by the National Center for Education Statistics within the U.S. Department of Education. The NHES mode transition story is also one of robust experimentation. The results of NHES experiments are applicable to other household studies. The webinar will discuss the motivations to transition modes, the decisions involved, and factors in decision-making, including experimental findings related to the redesign from phone to mail and the subsequent transition to sequential-mixed mode administration. Specifically, the webinar will discuss coverage and response declines in landline telephone surveys; redesign considerations and technical input; experimental pilot test and field test findings related to mode, contact strategies, and incentives; motivations to add web, web experiment and web test experimental findings; and the NHES:2019 sequential mixed-mode experiments. The webinar will use a Total Survey Error framework to discuss mode transitions and experimentation, situating decisions and experimental results in the context of sources of survey error; trade-offs in increases and reductions in types of survey error will be discussed.

Webinar Level:


Learning Objectives:   

  • Provide a real-life case study of survey mode transition in the context of federal statistics
  • Give participants results of household survey redesign experiments, as well as a preview of NHES:2019 research
  • Provide insight about drivers of survey design decisions for an ongoing cross-sectional survey

About the Instructors:

Sarah Grady
is the Project Officer for the National Household Education Surveys Program (NHES) at the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) in the U.S. Department of Education. Sarah worked in varied research capacities for nonprofit organizations before finding her way into survey research. She has worked on cross-sectional NCES surveys for 13 years, as an employee of the American Institutes for Research (AIR), NORC at the University of Chicago, and most recently at NCES. She finds the challenges of household survey collections to be wide, varied, and evolving, such that NHES continues to keep her interest. She holds a B.A. in sociology from UMBC, an M.S. in sociology from Virginia Commonwealth University, and a graduate certificate in survey methodology from the Joint Program in Survey Methodology, University of Maryland.