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Features — Questionnaire design

Number of questions in a questionnaireunlimitedA single questionnaire is limited to a non-constraining 3398 questions, be they open ended or closed — longer questionnaire (!) could be cascaded. However, using the Web as a data collection context imposes limits to the questionnaire length and to its complexity for the user.
Number of response categories to a given questionunlimitedEach question may bear an unlimited number of response categories. For example, in theory, a complete list of municipalities could be displayed on screen. Obviously, the questionnaire designer should know better and limit the burden on the person filling in the data collection form.
Single or multiple choice questionsokThe system can accept more than one answer to a given question or impose a single response. More information is available on this feature in the discussion of data validation characteristics.
Open and semi-open questionsokA question may be completely closed (i.e., all possible choices are laid out), semi-open (where one or more choices allow for a clarification of the answer, e.g., "Other, please specify") or completely open (p.ex., "Please describe the reasons why...").
Response set limited by keywordokA question response set can be limited by a keyword (a character string, in fact) supplied by the respondent in another question. For example, the respondent could be asked to supply a few letters of the name of their municipality of residence and then supplied with a subset of municipalities whose name contain the characters given by the respondent.
Validated numeric response questionsokAn open or semi-open question can accept exclusively numerical answers (e.g., "How much did you spend for..."). These answers can be limited within a minimum and a maximum and they can be described in terms of their length and number of decimals.
Deadend questionsokA deadend question interrupts the questionnaire without closing the case. The person completing the interview cannot continue forward in the questionnaire (although he/she can back track), but he/she is not ejected out of the interview either.
Random permutation of series of questionsokTo avoid response effects associated with the sequencing of the questions, questionnaire designers often demand that questions belonging to the same logical block be asked in a different order from person to person. The system allows this type of question permutation, in the context of the sequential presentation of questions as well as when questions are grouped on the same screen or presented in table format. Questions can be permutated as sub-groups; for example, five groups of two questions can be permutated, each pair being maintained as a pair. It is also possible to permutate questions involved in a larger permutation (ad infinitum); piggy-backing on the previous example, within the two-question groups (or some of them), questions could be presented in random order.
Random permutation of response choicesokTo avoid response effects associated with the sequencing of the response categories, questionnaire designers often demand that response choices be asked in a different order from person to person. The system allows this type of category permutation, for all categories or a subset of them, in the context of the sequential presentation of questions as well as when questions are grouped on the same screen or presented in table format.
Response choice inversionokTo avoid response effects associated with the sequencing of the response categories, questionnaire designers often demand that response choices be asked in a different order from person to person. In some cases, as when the response categories are logically ordered, response cboice permutation is not feasible. The system allows to flip the order of all categories or a subset of them, in the context of the sequential presentation of questions as well as when questions are grouped on the same screen or presented in table format.
Complex calculations on the basis of responsesokIt is possible to conduct complex calculations in real time during the data collection based on the information collected in previous questions and using data from another data base (prepopulation). The results of the calculations can then be saved in the data base, displayed on screen or reused in other questions; they can also determine skips within the questionnaire.
Nombre of languages integrated into a single questionnaire scriptunlimitedTo ensure the parallelism of questionnaire versions, all language versions of the text of the questionnaire are integrated in a single script file. A single polyglot copy of the questionnaire is operationnally safer than independent copies.
Integration of graphical elementsokThe system can integrate graphical elements (static or dynamic images, logos, screen captures, Flash animations, etc.) in any portion of the page shown to the user. This way, the page header can comprise the company logo; a question may display a Web page; response categories may illustrate different concepts; the footer may recall the corporate identity; etc.
Hierarchical data structuresokTypically, all data for a project are maintained within a single CallWeb data base. There are times, however, when a more complex structure is more appropriate. Let's take the example of a study on family employment. Part of the questionnaire may deal with the household; another part may request information from each household member. Of course, it is possible to set up a large enough number of blocks of questions to accommodate the largest possible household, but this may not be the most efficient way to collect the information. That's where hierarchical projects come into play. In hierarchical projects, a master CallWeb project acts as the parent data base (in our example, it would deal with the household). One or more "children" CallWeb projects link into the master project to allow as many children "relations" as is required. In our example, each household member would be a child of the master household project. Each such child relation requires a separate CallWeb project; there can be any number of such relationships within a project and children projects may have children projects of their own. For example, one household could have several household members and each household member could have several jobs.
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