One of the many perks** (sarcasm**) of being a student at the University of Minnesota is receiving the countless e-mails asking you to participate in a school sponsored survey. This is to be expected because when you attend an institution where students are all in a centralized location, it becomes a researchers dream wading pool.
A recent survey I just received in my e-mail was one from Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA asking U of M students to participate in the national survey. The goal of the survey is to gain knowledge about students academic experiences on campus.
It is obvious of why student receive so many surveys to complete by e-mail. The contact method of e-mail is perfect for students in college. Each student is given a university gmail account where other students and professors all can contact them. Students check their e-mails several times a day. With e-mail being one of the lower cost survey contact methods, it is expected that it becomes the most popular method to reach the student's attention. The surveys try to entice students by offering compensation of some sort. In the case of the UCLA survey, students were told that after completion they would be entered into a drawing for a chance to win a $50 gift card.
Survey contact methods all have their advantages and disadvantages. Can you imagine if it was someone's job to call every single student and ask them to take a survey? The method would be pointless and ineffective as no students would answer the phone.