Doss, W., Rayfield, J., Burris, S., & Lawver, D. (2021). A quantitative content analysis of survey research methods over a 40-year time period in the Journal of Agricultural Education. Journal of Agricultural Education, 62(3), 310-328.


To provide a benchmark of survey methods used in agricultural education research, a content analysis of Journal of Agricultural Education (JAE) research articles was conducted to determine populations studied, survey contact and response mode use, the use of incentives, and response and participation rates reported. Findings revealed survey research is still the most commonly used research methodology for articles published in the JAE. School-based agricultural education (SBAE) teachers are the population most frequently surveyed with contact and response modes shifting from mailed paper surveys to online surveys. Incentives were rarely used in the sampled articles. Response and participation rates have declined 20 – 30% from 1979 to 2019, increasing the possibility for nonresponse error. Recommendations for practice include providing more specific information in manuscripts related to tailoring survey methods for a particular population and reporting participation and response rates more accurately. Further research was recommended for determining which survey modes are most successful for populations commonly studied in agricultural education research, conducting a cost analysis of using incentives, and exploring new technologies to reach populations via research.

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