ABSTRACT

Institutional surveys are an important means for assessing student learning experiences and outcomes in higher education. With the widespread ownership of smartphones and tablets, a growing number of students use mobile devices to complete institutional surveys. Using National Survey of Student Engagement data collected at a large four-year research university, this study examines how survey response patterns and data quality are different between computer (i.e., laptop, desktop) and mobile device responses. The findings indicate that mobile respondents are likely to take a longer time to complete the survey and have higher item nonresponse rates. In examining engagement indicator subscales, first-year students who used mobile devices reported significantly lower internal consistency reliability of all measures in academic challenges compared to computer respondents. Additionally, controlling for student demographics and precollege traits, the adjusted means of academic challenges and supportive environment subscales were significantly lower for mobile device respondents from first-year students.

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