The data collection process was based on a series of questionnaires which began in Week 2 -Semester 1, 2011 and is complete at the University of Newcastle, the University of Southern Queensland, and the University of New England. Due to substantial changes in the structure of the program at the University of South Australia, and to personnel at Edith Cowan University, data collection was deferred until 2012 at those institutions. The process is now underway with completion expected by the end of 2012.
Each student was asked to complete two questionnaires: an Initial Questionnaire in Week 2 of the first semester of their program and either an Exit Survey (students leaving the program without completion) or a Concluding Questionnaire in the last week of their program.
Students in enabling programs tend to be less experienced in the processes of formal education, and the return rate of questionnaires has varied substantially between institutions and programs. Where we were able to administer questionnaires in lectures and tutorials, the return rate has been very high, at times approaching 100% of the students present in class. However, where questionnaires have been emailed or posted to students the return rate has often been disappointing. This is especially true of the Exit Surveys sent to students formally withdrawing, or identified as having left the program without formally withdrawing.