Contact materials, engagement and incentives

From the 2010 AGS, the same 2009 protocols surrounding contacting students and graduates regarding the AGS are in place. These protocols are outlined in the AGS Manual (2010 yet to be released, but there are no changes planned), along with an example letter or email wording for initial distribution of instruments, and example follow-up text.

Engagement and encouraging returns

Engagement encompasses any activity that raises awareness of the AGS within the survey cohort. The goal of engagement is to improve respondent recognition and enhance the salience of the survey to graduates, thereby improving response rates. Thank you to all the institutions that provided the sample materials (below) for inspiration.

Pre-survey engagement and early collection of contact details

Engagement activities schedule

Schedule of engagement activities_USC (.xls) 51.50 kB

AGS information webpage

GCA have an AGS FAQ page as well as some other institutional examples. The AGS FAQs can be found here: AGS FAQs

University of the Sunshine Coast maintains a web page specific to the AGS. This is regularly updated with relevant information for each round so it acts as a pre-survey engagement and a follow-up mechanism, depending on the current stage of the survey round cycle. It also links directly to the AGS website and to USC Alumni and careers pages. Access this page at: usc ags information page.

Generic AGS contact detail collection postcards

Postcard with moving tag image for collection of contact details:

AGS Postcard-Tag (.pdf) 1.38 MB

Postcard with superhero image for collection of contact details:

AGS Postcard-Superhero (.pdf) 2.50 MB

Postcard for collection of contact details with blank front for institutional customisation:

AGS Postcard-Blank (.pdf) 93.60 kB

Engagement postcards:

La Trobe Survey Postcard (.pdf) 267.07 kB
USC_flyer (.pdf) 115.38 kB
JCU AGS Postcard
(.doc) 365.50 kB

Engagement bookmark:

130813 ACT_BOOK MARK (PROOF 2)_ACT (.pdf) 114.95 kB

Graduation inserts (engagement and contact detail collection):

2708_AustGradSurvey08DRAFT1_UQ_graduation pack insert (.pdf) 905.54 kB

Grad ceremony flyer AGS Oct 2010_UTas (.doc) 1.78 MB

Lecture slide:

AGS slide for roger_JCU (.ppt) 1.04 MB

Pre-survey email:

AGS Apr09 Pre Survey Email_UTas (.doc) 13.50 kB

Reminder postcard:

La Trobe Survey Postcard 2 (.pdf) 457.30 kB

Incentive flyer:

Curtin_flyer_08 (.pdf) 157.42 kB  


Incentives are often used to encourage higher response rates. However, evidence of their effectiveness is uncertain. Institutions should think carefully about using incentives in the context of other strategies for improving response (e.g. more contacts, improving contact materials and tailoring materials for each iteration of contact).

The following paper presented to the SRG provides some consideration of incentives and includes a list of literature on the topic:

AGS survey incentives SRG paper (.doc) 131.86 kB

General papers on engagement, incentives and factors affecting response rates are available in the other useful documents section. More resources are added to that section as they become available.

From the 2009 AGS, a firm commencement date was introduced for initial distribution of survey instruments, links to online instruments and phone surveying. This means that no surveying for a particular round can take place before this date. The commencement date is 1 October for the October round, and 1 April for the April round. Those institutions that have traditionally used early graduation ceremonies that fall before this date as an opportunity to survey graduates should replace survey forms at graduation ceremonies with a ‘pre-survey contact form’ in order to collect up-to-date graduate contact details.

We have provided some GCA pre-survey contact detail collection postcards (below) and a range of other engagement survey engagement materials used by institutions around Australia showing great creativity.

Any institutions that wish to share their materials are encouraged to send these to GCA: [email protected].