Solutions to common design problems

Randomizing order of questions

This article is motivated by this user question. In this example we will consider similar questions (all of them categorical single-select) rating different aspects of the stay in a resort hotel. Our objective is to present the questions in different order for different respondents. Our other objective is to avoid pre-programming sequences of questions, as this is tedious and creates questionnaires with just a few sequences of questions. We will rely on the following Survey Solutions elements:

July 17, 2017

Alternatives to Date Type Question

A date type question requires three components of the date to be specified: year, month, day. If any of them is not known, the interviewers may not enter the other ones, even if they are known. When this is not acceptable, date type question should not be used. Instead consider one of the following alternatives: Three separate questions; Patterned text question, with pattern specified as ####-##-## Categorical question with year-month combinations, such as: 2016-September 2016-October 2016-November 2016-December 2017-January 2017-February 2017-March 2017-April

April 20, 2017

Mandatory (required) questions

In Survey Solutions any question may be left unanswered for reasons beyond the control of the questionnaire designer. The respondent may refuse to answer a particular question, don’t know the answer, or a family member may be unavailable for answering. Every once in a while our support team is receiving questions on how to designate a question “required”, so that the interview may not proceed unless this particular question is answered.

April 18, 2017

Replacement strategies

Every sample-based survey is subject to non-response either for the reason of refusal or problems of locating the household: household has moved, person died, address recorded incorrectly, etc. Whichever is the reason, it must be properly reflected in the interview result code - a categorical variable set by the interviewer to indicate the outcome of the visit to the household. Survey Solutions doesn’t do sampling. A sampling specialist should perform sampling for your survey.

April 10, 2017

Selecting a person

For random selection refer to this article. Here an example of determined selection is discussed. Consider you wish to select a child attaining the lowest grade, with selecting younger children to break the ties. We define selname as a string variable: selname=PERSONS.Where( p=>IsAnswered(p.name) && IsAnswered(p.age) && IsAnswered(p.grade) ).Where( p=>p.age.InRange(5,15) && p.grade.InRange(1,98) ).OrderBy(p=>p.grade).ThenBy(p=>p.age).First().name Note that if there are two or more children of the same age and grade exist in the same household, then the one entered first will be selected.

February 23, 2017

Formatting Text

Question texts and static-texts can be formatted with a series of html tags. The html tags that can currently be used in Survey Solutions are described in this article. Line break Use <br> to insert a line break. Italic Use <i> *to begin the use of italics. Then, use* </i> when you want to discontinue the use of italics. Underline Use <u> to begin the use of underline. Then, use </u> when you want to discontinue the use of underline.

June 22, 2016