Data Collection Methods

The MSL is administered online by the Survey Sciences Group, LLC.  SSG is an independent research organization with specific expertise in multi-campus studies.  All data are collected using empirically proven standards for web-based survey research.

MSL’s online format allows students to share their experiences at any time or place that is convenient to them.  They can respond to the MSL when they feel comfortable, secure, and unhurried.  Respondents further enjoy the option of leaving the survey and resuming it from their last completed answer.

The data-collection period extends from January though the end of April, and each institution will select a three-week window that best fits their unique academic calendar.  Students are invited to participate via personalized e-mails.  Each correspondence outlines the study, addresses issues of confidentiality and consent, and supplies a link to the survey instrument.  Students may receive up to four total contacts.

As the survey is administered, SSG provides comprehensive respondent support via e-mail or telephone to minimize the inconvenience to your students.  The service also allows students to opt out of the survey by replying to any MSL correspondence and requesting to be removed from the dataset.  SSG will monitor the survey completion rates and work with you to encourage participation if the response is insufficient.

To increase your response rate, you may host a sweepstakes-style drawing for students who complete the survey.  Your institution will decide on the number, type, and value of the prizes; and SSG will conduct the random drawing.  Additionally, the MSL offers a number of monetary prizes raffled at the national level to stimulate survey response