The survey was administered and responses collected through LimeSurvey™, an open source online survey tool hosted on a server at Athabasca University. Students in the course MDDE 604 were sent an email (Appendix 2) inviting them to participate in the survey. The email contained information about the purpose of the survey, how long the survey would take, that participants would be eligible for a draw for a $100 gift card, and that participation was entirely voluntary. The email explained that their instructor was one of the supervisors of the thesis investigation but that he would not know whether or not students had participated in the study, nor would he have access to the raw data and only to the aggregated data after the course had ended and the grades had been submitted. Students were instructed that the thesis investigation had been reviewed and approved by the Athabasca University Research Ethics Board and that they would be indicating their informed consent by clicking the link to the survey.
With the exception of the Fall 2012 class, who were invited after the course had ended, students were sent the invitation approximately half-way through the course and were sent reminders after they submitted the last assignment and immediately prior to the end of the course.