The offering of incentives is entirely optional; ultimately strong promotion of the survey, a belief by students that survey responses will be acted upon by the department, and departmental support for completion of the survey will yield the highest response rates. Note that the University does not operate a central EATing at Warwick card top-up for postgraduate surveys as it does for the NSS.
If departments wish to consider an incentive, and in order to encourage parity between departments, we would NOT encourage departments to exceed a £5 per head, either as individual incentives or for larger pooled incentives. We do not wish some students to feel their participation in PTES is valued more in some departments than in others. We cannot offer a central budget to support incentives, but we believe that well-defined incentives can encourage students to complete the survey without feeling the incentive is ‘payment’.
Additionally, some departments have achieved good engagement by holding an event or booking a space, where students can complete the survey there and then. Running this session at lunchtime or in the evening and offering food (e.g. pizza) and drinks can help to boost engagement. This should be left in the room for all eligible students to enjoy whether they complete the survey at that time or not.
Some other ideas are...
An NSS incentive idea is a charitable donation, going to a Warwick charity chosen by the department, on an increasing scale based on percentage of responses. This model could also work for PTES. An example of how scheme this scheme could work is: For the first 50% of the cohort who complete the survey, a £1.50 donation per head will be made; for 50-70%, a £2 donation; and for 70% upwards, a £2.50 donation.
Prize draw incentive
Departments can choose to offer a prize draw, which may or may not be drawn upon a certain threshold response being reached.
Departments should consult with students as to what prize scheme might be appealing to finalists. Departments can choose to keep the total fund used for prizes at a fixed figure or can increase the total prize fund as specific response rate milestones are reached. For example, once a department has met 50% response rate, the prize fund is £50. This will increase to £100 (perhaps two prizes) when the response rate reaches 75%.
It is important to note that the winners of prize draws must be drawn from all eligible students as departments will not know who has completed the survey.
If you have any ideas or something that has worked before and want to share please let us know.