Methodology

This research would not be possible without the cooperation and assistance of the institutions that are participating in the survey. This section provides detailed information about the survey methodology including ethical review, sampling, email distribution, prizes and timelines.

Ethical Review

CBIE

CBIE has submitted an application to the Community Research Ethics Office (CREO), a Research Ethics Board (REB) that services Canadian not-for-profit organizations, governments, independent consultants, community organizations, community researchers, and others that want to maximize the ethical conduct of their research. CREO’s work aligns with the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans (TCPS 2, 2018). Once CBIE’s statement of ethics approval is obtained from CREO for the International Student Survey, it will be circulated to participating institutions to be used as additional information for internal ethic review processes.

Participating Institutions

Many universities, colleges, and institutes have institutional ethical review committees that review requests for research with their students. CBIE offers support to institutions as they navigate this process. If a local ethical review is required or advisable to complete this project at your institution, the process should be started as soon as possible.

Sampling

The web-based methodology is designed to reach a large sample of students. Institutions are being asked to send survey invites to their entire international student population.

CBIE uses the professional Alchemer account to gather responses from students at participating institutions.

CBIE is providing institutions with a generic survey link that can be embedded in the email to students. The institutions will be responsible for emailing their sample of students. It will not be possible to track which students have completed the survey. Each institution will be responsible for sending reminder emails to all students in the sample after sending the initial email invitations. We will provide a recommended time frame for communications as well sample reminder emails that can be used.

The survey responses will be immediately accessible, but only to the CBIE researchers responsible for the design, administration, and delivery of the survey.

Secure Data

Alchemer offers Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption, which works through a cryptographic system to ensure a secure connection between the client (student) and the server (where the responses are saved). SSL is commonly used for online banking sites to transmit secured information. A link with SSL encryption shows the ‘s’ in the ‘http’ address.

CBIE has also password protected the survey to ensure that we are only engaging those for who the survey is intended for. In addition to the survey URL, students will be provided with an access password, Without this password, students will not be able to access the survey. Therefore, it must be included in all communications to students.

Finally, Alchemer is compliant with Canadian privacy (all data resides on Canadian servers) and accessibility standards (W3C).

Connecting with Students

Institutions can use their preferred version of the email survey invitation that will be sent to students (CBIE will provide examples). The email content should appear exactly as your institution wishes it to, including any logos and electronic signatures. These features may help students to understand that the survey is genuine; however, some students’ email programs may not display embedded graphics, rich text formatting, or html formatting properly. Institutions are responsible for ensuring that the emails are formatted in such a manner that they will pass the spam filters of your institution.

To encourage students to participate in the survey, CBIE is offering the chance to win one of two flight vouchers valued at $1,000.00 or one of five iPads. CBIE will randomly draw seven winners from the group of students who complete the questionnaire and select the option to be included in the draw. Those students who choose to be included in the draw will need to provide their name and email address so that they can be contacted if they win.