Using the internet as a survey medium: Lessons learnt from a mobility survey of young drivers.
The internet has the potential to be an important research tool, and is increasingly considered as a medium for conducting surveys in addition to (or in place of) moretraditional media such as mail and telephones. A survey of young drivers conducted in New South Wales made use of this technology to collect information concerning the role of driving in meeting their mobility needs. Participants were sampled through Government and Catholic secondary schools across the State, with schools agreeing to hand out invitation and reminder cards to senior students. The survey could be downloaded from a web site identified on the invitation and reminder cards, and survey data were automatically uploaded to the survey internet server. Participation in a prize draw was offered as an incentive. Ten thousand invitations and reminders were distributed through 120 schools, but the response rate was insufficient to meet the original aims of the study. This paper discusses the survey and sampling method, the use of the Internet as a research medium, and the implications of this project for future internet-based surveys.