The first step to collecting quality data for a longitudinal research is building the survey or form. Follow the steps in this user guide to create a complete survey or form using DatStat Illume. Learn how to add questions, images, and text; define response options; add show-if logic; and more.
To get started creating a new survey, open DatStat Illume Survey Manager by either double clicking the icon on your desktop, or going to your start menu. Once llume Survey Manager is open, follow these steps:
If the default template is chosen, the rending style can be altered to responsive from within the survey designer, thus users requiring responsive design are not required to use the responsive template.
Once you have chosen your survey’s name, click Create survey.
We want to be sure that participants tell us how old they are, and that they give a valid response.
Let’s click the Response Guides tab of the Question Editor to set up some rules to describe what constitutes an acceptable response to our question.
Click on the ‘Data Dictionary’ tab of the question. Here you’ll see two fields: Unique Name and Description. When a new question is created, Illume assigns a Unique Name to the question. This question’s unique name is “Q1.”
Illume uses this name in various places to refer to the question “What is your age?” For example, when you use Illume’s Data Manager to download the survey data, responses to the question “What is your age?” will appear under the variable name “Q1.” Let’s give the variable a more descriptive name.
Let’s create two more simple questions. First, let’s ask if our participants are employed.
An authenticated survey is one in which there is a known list of respondents who will be taking the survey, with each respondent having a unique identifier. Each respondent can take the survey once and only once with that identifier. Surveys can also be unauthenticated, in which case any person can take the survey without entering any credentials. Let’s make the survey authenticated.
The Survey Header appears on every page of the body of the survey. It does NOT appear on the Login page or on the End Page. Users may input the title text and control the placement, and optionally choose a logo and progress bar.
The End Page is the page participants see after they submit the survey. Users may alternatively set up Redirects, in which the respondents are automatically sent to a specified website on submit. For this survey, we will show all participants the same end pages (though note that it is also possible to have multiple end pages that each show under unique conditions you specify).
Some questions are not relevant to all users. For example, a survey about lifestyle and health habits may include several questions about a participant’s tobacco use. If a participant indicates that he doesn’t use tobacco, you don’t want to spend the respondent’s time asking about their tobacco use. Illume surveys include Show-if logic to allow you to show the right questions, text objects, and tables to participants based on who they are and how they respond to survey questions.
Let’s assume we are not concerned with the employment status of participants under the age of 18 or over the age of 70.
Illume relies on “show-if” logic, rather than “skip logic”, as it is more robust to changes being made to a survey. And we all know that there’s rarely such thing as a “final version” of a survey! We’ll define a Show-if condition for the employment question so that it appears only for participants who indicate an age between 18 and 70.
Let’s take a look at the questions you just created.
Remember that we added some requirements to this question.
The login page, the thank you page, and all of the images are part of Illume’s default template. All of these items can be customized for each survey created. Illume surveys can contain images, Flash animations, Java applets, or any other media type that current browsers support.
Note also that there is a Reload button at the bottom of the Previewer. Click this any time to go back to the first page of the survey or when you have made edits to the survey and would like to see the changes.
The employment question no longer appears on the same page as the other two questions. Illume automatically moves this question to a new page because Illume has to know how participants answer the AGE question before it knows whether or not it should even present the EMPLOYMENT question. You’ll notice now that if you enter a number less than 18 or more than 70 in response to the age question, you won’t see the employment question.
You can also view your survey in your default browser by going to the Preview menu and selecting In Default Browser.
Collections are groups of related questions. In the Survey Designer, collections appear as folders in the left pane. The items they contain appear in the right pane.
Grouping questions into collections provides three benefits:
Let’s create a collection called “Employment” with some questions about the participant’s job.
A Question Table contains questions that share the same display type and the same set of response options. Illume makes the creation and display of these questions very simple and efficient. Let’s end our survey with a question table of questions about job satisfaction.
Question Tables can use other display types, such as lists, checkboxes, and text boxes. You can apply show-if logic to individual rows within a question table.
You can add custom images, audio (for ACASI surveys), video, Flash animations, Java applets, and other items to any part of your survey. You can also insert text objects. Text objects are useful anytime you want to communicate information, but not collect data, such as a welcome page, interviewer instructions, consent form, or other text.
Let’s add a simple bit of text to appear right after login:
You can apply show-if logic to Text/HTML items, just as you can to questions and collections. You can also view and edit the HTML source code for any of these items by opening it in the Text/HTML editor and clicking the Source tab at the bottom of the editor. Once the survey has been programmed, it should be published for live data collection.
Publishing a survey involves taking the survey from your local desktop and moving it on to the server where it can actively collect data. Users can simply check in the survey, which places a copy onto the server, or users can choose to publish the survey during that process, which also makes it available on the web. We are going to check in and publish our survey all at once.
Now that your survey is built, its time to upload a list of participants to send it out to. Click the icon to learn how to add participants.