A Loop Summary Table is a visual representation of the data contained within a loop that is presented to the respondent during the run-time of the survey. Loop Summary Tables allow a participant to Add, Review, Edit or Delete the information provided in an iteration of the looped variables. This table is optional – it is selected by default, however this option can simply be un-checked if it is not desired. In the absence of this table, respondents will simply loop through the items contained within the loop, page after page. To change entries in a prior loop, respondents would need to use the Previous button to page back to that iteration. When the table is used, respondents can easily “jump” back to a particular iteration by simply clicking the Edit icon.
Example of a Loop Summary Table
A Loop Summary Table is configured in the Loop Options Tab of the Loop Object.
Loop Options Tab
The check box to enable the Loop Summary Table is checked by default.
If this is unchecked only the Loop Iteration Guide will be displayed on the Loop Options Tab, as in the screenshot below.
Only the Required Number of Iterations can be set in this field. When the survey is taken it will just loop for as many iterations as entered in that field but the respondent will not know why or have any way to delete, or edit a specific iteration without using the Previous button.
When “Use a loop summary table for loop iteration control” is checked, the user may then specify a Loop Summary Table Prompt which will appear above the table, as shown below.
NOTE: In the example above piping is used in the prompt to show the number of members provided in an earlier variable “RESIDENCECOUNT”.
Loop Iteration Guides
The loop iteration guides give users the ability to define the Minimum and Maximum number of required iterations of the loop. Typically these will be defined by the response to a previous question. In the example above, a previous question in the survey asked “How many members are in your household” (data dictionary name RESIDENCECOUNT). These loop iteration guides specify that the respondent should be asked the loop question no fewer and no more than the number of members in their household.
If the number of iterations is unknown or should be open-ended (i.e. the respondent can continue looping as long as they desire), then only supply a minimum number, for instance “1”.
The Error Message field is to supply the respondent with a custom error message regarding the number of iterations.
NOTE: The Minimum and Maximum setting will not be available in a “Iterate for Each Entity in a Previous Loop” loop type.
Loop Summary Columns Tab
The Loop Summary Columns Tab is where the Column Types, Headers and Text can be configured for the loop summary table.
Summary Column Types
There are four types of Columns that can be displayed in a Summary Table.
- Value of a Loop Or Survey Variable – Used to display the variables included within the loop. In the screenshot above, residence member name, type, gender and relationship are all survey variables contained within the loop. Those four are added to the table so that the respondent can see what was entered into each of those survey variables.
- The Label or Sequence Number of a Loop Iteration – Used when Iterating over a predefined set of responses. For example, in this type of loop the respondent may be asked to select which websites they’ve visited from a check-all-that-apply list of websites. If the respondent selects 3 websites, he will iterate through the loop 3 times, and each row of the table will be labeled with 1, 2, 3, as this is the “sequence number of the loop iteration”.
- An Answered/Unanswered indicator for a Loop Iteration – Used in Iterate for Each Entity in a Previous Loop or an Iterate over a pre-defined set of response options Loop types. This indicator shows whether the questions within the loop for a particular iteration have been received.
- Loop Iteration Buttons – The Edit, Delete or Respond button for each loop
Once a table column has been defined, it can be dragged-and-dropped within the editor window on the Loop Summary Columns tab to control the order of columns in the table. For example, you may want to drag and drop “Loop Iteration Buttons” to be the first or last column int he table.
Loop Summary Options Tab
The Loop Summary Options Tab allows the Survey Designer to customize the Iteration Buttons and Summary Indicators for a specific Loop Summary Table. By default these Options are set at a Survey level under Survey/Preferences. If those default preferences are satisfactory, it is not necessary to edit this tab.