Continuous evaluation and improvement are among the main features of the design and delivery of Graduate Outcomes, as evidenced throughout this methodology statement and in our regular communications with providers. We are keen to build on the foundations from the first few years and enhance our data collection, processing and dissemination systems as we move into the next year and beyond. To this effect we launched a review of Graduate Outcomes at the end of 2020. Following the first phase of the review several changes to the questionnaire and data collection systems have been implemented. The next phase of the review is currently underway and is largely aimed at strengthening the questionnaire even further by reducing data collection burden, improving data quality and improving the alignment of data collected with user requirements.
The following are other enhancements that are either in progress or will be considered for future collections of the survey. These will be described once they have been fully explored in future iterations of this methodology statement:
- Investigate and make recommendations for closer alignment with UK and international labour market data standards.
- Identify factors contributing to variability in response rates and, where possible, determine ways of reducing it.
- Determine the extent of measurement error introduced by questionnaire design, mode effects, interviewer bias and respondent bias.
- Identify ways of improving the quality of free text responses.
- Conduct a brand audit to understand our target audience and what encourages them to engage with the survey and use it to inform the content of our communication materials.
- Explore the feasibility of introducing incentives and if deemed viable, conduct an incentives pilot to test their effectiveness in increasing response rates and measure the likely impact on data quality
- Measure the quality of graduate contact details supplied by providers and impact on response rates.
- Undertaken investigation into linked data for Graduate Outcomes in relation to study data from the student record, with updates provided in Key principles of Graduate Outcomes.