I use some kind of First Week Survey in most classes I teach. The questions vary, but typically include: preferred name, hometown, academic/career plans. The preferred name is used for the field $FN in WeBWork-generated email; other fields have no practical use other than potential conversation points. The survey is an online frevvo form, is optional and carries no bonus points. Unsurprisingly, participation is usually far from 100%, especially in classes for non-STEM majors.
Here is the data from my Business Calculus class (Fall 2012) with total enrollment of 151.
|Got B or better||Did not|
|Filled out survey||36||26|
That’s 58% of “B or better” in the participating group, versus 33% in the non-participating one.
It would be interesting to also look at the correlation between grades and filling out online evaluations at the end of semester, but I do not have the data.