2019–20 National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS:20)

PDP Usability Testing 


What is this study about? 

On behalf of the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) and in collaboration with RTI International, EurekaFacts, a research company based in Rockville, MD, is administering one-on-one interviews with staff at various postsecondary educational institutions for the editing of the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study 2020 (NPSAS:20). The purpose of the interview is to help NCES better understand the usability of the Postsecondary Data Portal (PDP) website. Feedback from the interview will be used to improve student records collection instruments for NPSAS:20 and other NCES studies. 

Where will the interview take place? 

Interviews will be virtual and take place online. You will receive a confirmation email with the link and login information. 

What will happen during the interview? 

During the interview, participants will complete a series of tasks using the Postsecondary Data Portal website and will be asked to provide feedback on the process. All sessions will be recorded to make sure we don’t leave out or misrepresent anything you say. Please see the question below for information regarding the protection of your privacy. 

Will information be kept private? 

Each participant will be assigned a unique identifier (ID) so your name will not be linked to your answers. All of the information provided by participants may be used only for statistical purposes and may not be disclosed, or used, in identifiable form for any other purpose except as required by law (20 U.S.C. §9573 and 6 U.S.C. §151). Audio from the session will be recorded only for analysis. NCES is authorized to conduct this study by the Education Sciences Reform Act of 2002 (ESRA 2002, 20 U.S.C. §9543). 

Do I need to do anything special for this online interview? 

For online interviews, you will need to have a reliable internet connection, a webcam and a quiet private space where you can engage in the session for its duration. You will need to return your electronically signed consent form prior to the start of the session. Further instructions will be provided in a confirmation email. 

How long will the interview last and when will it take place? 

The interview will last approximately 90 minutes. Interviews can be scheduled at your convenience. 

Will the results go to the participant’s place of work? 

Participants’ responses will not be disclosed to their place of work and will not be linked to any personally identifiable information. 

Is there an incentive for participating? 

Yes. Upon completion of the interview, each participant will receive a $50 Amazon gift card. This will be sent via email. You may decline the gift card if required by your institution. 

What are the possible risks of being in the study? 

There are no known risks to participating in this voluntary study. 

Who can I contact with questions or for further information? 

If you have any questions about the study, you can call Cecilia Teal the Project Manager at 240-345-9760. If you have questions about your rights as a study participant, you can call the EurekaFacts Office of Research Protection at 240403-4800. 

Can participation end early? 

Participation in this study is completely voluntary. You have the right to refuse to answer particular questions. You may elect to withdraw from this study at any time and can leave the interview early if you wish.