Version 5.22

August 3, 2017

In Survey Solutions v5.22 we have added access to server by interviewers, a new question type (audio) and various other improvements.

Audio question

The new audio question type has been added following the overwhelming number of requests from our users, especially dealing with surveys in literacy, education, and public opinion research. In these surveys the recording of the respondent’s voice may serve quality control purposes or be directly of interest to the researchers.

Audio question allows recording sound (voice) of the respondent as part of the interview using the tablet’s microphone. The recorded data is then transferred to the server and exported as part of the binary data export.

An audio question doesn’t have any custom properties and can be added in Designer by specifying an appropriate question type, text, variable name and other common properties:

An optional instruction may indicate how the interaction between an interviewer and the respondent should proceed. As any other question, audio question may be asked or skipped based on the internal logic of the questionnaire, which is fully under control of the questionnaire designer.

Audio questions may only have one scope: interviewer.

On a tablet the audio question is represented similarly to an image type question, with the button which needs to be tapped to start recording:

During the recording, a timer and recording status are displayed. If necessary, the recording can be deleted, and a new recording be made instead.

Note that the audio recording is activated by the interviewer, it is a conscious action (commonly the consent of the respondent is also to be obtained).

An audio question can also be used in web interviews. Note that an audio question has a 180 seconds limit on recording duration, and if the recording is not cancelled at that time it will be saved automatically replacing the previous answer for this question. For web interviews the compression is performed on the server. All audio data is saved in the AAC (advanced audio encoding) format into *.m4a files.

Interviewer sign in to Survey Solutions

In this version we have expanded the Survey Solutions server functionality, which now allows interviewers to sign in using the same credentials as on the tablet. Once signed in, the interviewers have access to their:

  • Assignments;

  • interviews (started, completed and rejected);

  • Profile (counts of interviews and device description and status).

When an assignment has been made to the interviewer, he can pull it out to the tablet (just clicking the synchronization button), or start it as a web-interview and complete it online. Interviews started online, may be completed online or on the tablet after synchronization, but interviews received on the tablet must be completed on the tablet.

Other changes and improvements

  • Single-select cascading questions may now also use validation conditions;

  • Comments are now supported in web interviews and can be accessed from the question’s menu;

  • Interview key is now displayed throughout the whole system, including the tablet after the interview has been opened;

  • Images taken with the tablet’s camera are automatically proportionately resized to have longer side no longer than 1024 pixels;

  • Language-switch icon was added to web interviews to signal the nature of the selection to international users.