In the previous chapter you met Pimprenelle (real cat, fictional GA Sciences user). She registered and logged in, and now it's time for her to create her first GA Sciences online survey. She wants to perform a statistical study on the habits of the pets of the neighborhood. In this chapter she will learn the basics of designing an online questionnaire on GA Sciences.
Create a Survey
GA Sciences includes a handy survey design interface. To access it once logged in and create a new survey like Pimprenelle, you just have to click on the New Survey item in your personnal menu, accessible either under the dropdown item in the navigation bar on the top of any GA Sciences webpage or directly from the left side menu in your Dashboard.
First things come first, Pimprenelle has to give a title to her survey and provide a description that will be like a welcome message displayed to all respondents. That's the first two items that appear on the upper half of the survey creation page.
Add, Move, Delete or Change Questions
Now it's time to add questions to Pimprenelle's empty survey. By default every new survey is initiated with a blank question as shown below.
The first item in line is symply the question number. Then a dropdown menu invites Pimprenelle to pick a question type, we will go back to that in the next paragraph. The next text box is where Pimprenelle has to input the state of the question. It may be something as simple as "How are you?" or someting more sophisticated so it is possible to extend the box via the bottom right corner extender button. The Edit Question button will open the question settings dialog box which varies depending on the question type. We will reach that point in the next paragraph. For some reason, Pimprenelle may want to make a question visible or invisible to the respondents, the visible checkbox is here for that. Finally, Pimprenelle can use the or buttons to respectively add or delete a question from her survey. When she is done editing her first survey, Pimprenelle will click on Submit and she will be done, but for now she still has some work to do.
As Pimprenelle adds questions to her survey, up and down arrows appear on the left of each question line. She can use those arrows to change the order of the questions of the questionnaire. Equivalently, it's also possible to grad and drop a question to change its position convinently.
Types of Questions
GA Sciences offers 11 different types of questions for your questionnaires. Luckily for us, Pimprenelle intends to make use of one of each of those question types in her survey so we will keep following her example. Below is the list of all possible question types, if you are interested in a particular one just click on the corresponding link to jump directly to the deicated section. Otherwise, simply follow the course of the document
- Single Choice
- Multiple Choice
- Integer Number
- Real Number
- Short Text
- Longt Text
- Star Rating
The first thing Pimprenelle wants to know from respondents is their species. So she uses a Single Choice type of question. The principle of a signle choice question is that a limited and predefined number of possible answers is diplayed to the respondent who can choose only one option. Here, Pimprenelle asks the following question to the respondent: "To what species do you belong?".
As you can see in the above picture, Pimprenelle can use the or buttons to respectively add or delete possible answers displayed to the respondent. The respondent can pick one answer between "Dog", "Cat" and "Other". Similarly to the Survey Creation page, Pimprenelle can use the arrows to move up or down an item, or equivalently she also can drag and drop the item. Finally, by checking the corresponding checkbox, Pimprenelle decides to require the respondent to answer the question.
The following image shows how Pimprenelle's Single Choice question will look like for respondents.
Multiple Choice questions are very similar to Single Choice except that the respondents can pick several answers. As illustrated in the picture below, the Edit Question box is also similar.
Pimprenelle wants to know the type of food her fellow pets of the neighborhood eat. She could bound the number of items to be provided by respondents but it's optional. She could also require an answer but she does not make use of this other option.
The following image shows how Pimprenelle's Multiple Choice question will look like for respondents.
The Integer Number question type must be used when you expect an answer which is a number that can be written without a fractional component. In other words, when Pimprenelle asks other pets how many naps a day they usually take "something and a half naps" is not a valid answer. Be carefully that an integer can be negative, so do not hesitate to put a lower bound equal to zero if negative answers bother you. Actually you can use any value for lower and also upper bounds. Upper and lower bounds are both optional, just like providing a default value or a placeholder.
The following image shows how Pimprenelle's Integer Number question will look like for respondents.
For the next question of her online survey, Pimprenelle asks about the distance that her pet friends walk when they go outside. To collect this piece of information she uses a Real Number type of question. The editing box of this question type is very similar to that of the Integer Number except that there is an additional attribute: to how many decimal places are the collected values rounded.
The following image shows how Pimprenelle's Real Number question will look like for respondents.
Now Pimprenelle asks an open question to the respondents: what would they say to their master(s) if they could say only one sentence in human lanquage? For that she can use the Short Text question type. As you can see below, the only attribute that Pimprenelle may set is the maximum number of characters allowed in the answer to the question, default is 255.
The following image shows how Pimprenelle's Short Text question will look like for respondents.
There is no difference between the Long Text type of question editing box and the one of the Short Text type. Actually you should use the Long Text type when you expect a longer prose from the respondent. For example, Pimprenelle wants to know in details what the other pets do when they go outside for a walk, therefore she sets a higher maximum number of characters (1000) and uses a Long Text type.
The following image shows how Pimprenelle's Long Text question will look like for respondents.
Another possible type of information you can get in a GA Sciences survey is asking the respondents to rate something. The first kind of question that permits that sort of action is the Star Rating question. Going back to Pimprenelle's survey, she wants to know for her next question how the pet repondents rate the comfort of their home on a 5 stars scale. Of course you can set the number of stars in the scale (between 2 and 10 stars in the scale) but keep in mind that a star rating scale is meant to be a discret scale with few steps, if you need something finer use rather a Slider question instead.
The following image shows how Pimprenelle's Star Rating question will look like for respondents.
A Slider is a cursor that the respondent can position on a continuous range of values. It can be used for rating purpose in the case where a fine scale is required, in other cases Star Rating should be prefered. Of course, sliders are not limited to ratings, for example in her survey Pimprenelle asks the respondents what percentage of their time is spent sleeping. As she asked for a percentage she bounded the possible answers to 0 and 100 (which are the default values) but you can set any values for your own surveys.
The following image shows how Pimprenelle's Slider question will look like for respondents.
The Ranking question type should be used when you want the respondents to rank some items. Let say that now Pimprenelle needs the other pets of the neighborhood who will answer her online survey to rank the best nap spots proposed in a given list, she would then use the Ranking question type. The following picture shows the corresponding edition box. Similarly to the Single Choice and Multiple Choice types of questions, you can use the and the buttons respectively to add or remove items in the possible answers list. You can also use the up and down arrows to move and item or simply drag and drop it. In order not to influence the respondents, you can randomize the intial order in which the items to rank are listed by checking the corresponding checkbox.
The following image shows how Pimprenelle's Ranking question will look like for respondents.
The Date/Time question type is meant as its name states for collecting date and/or time inputs from the respondent. For example Pimprenelle wants to collect the date of birth of the respondents to her survey. She uses the Date/Time question type and check the "Collect date Info" box and uncheck the "Collect Time Info" box in the question editing box as shown bellow. She could set a lower and upper limit but she does not. Note that as she did not check the "Collect Time Info" the Minimum and Maximum time limits inputs are disabled.
The following image shows how Pimprenelle's Date/Time question will look like for respondents.
Finally Pimprenelle kindly proposes to send the report of her statistical study to all the respondents that would like it. To do so she needs their contact info. The Contact type of question is made for that purpose. As you can see in the image below, you can ask many sort of contact info from the email address to the company name. Here Pimprenelle just needs the name of the responding pet and his email, this last element being mandatory in order to send the final report of her survey.
The following image shows how Pimprenelle's Contact question will look like for respondents.
It looks like that thanks to Pimprenelle's example you know now how to design your first online survey. Let's keep learning, move to the next chapter and see how to get answers.