Creating surveys
  • 27 Oct 2021
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Creating surveys

  • PDF

Surveys allow researchers to gather additional information about participants that can provide additional context or supplemental data for the study. Kernel offers these survey tools to facilitate a reliable way to collect confidential survey data.

Surveys added to a study in Kernel Cloud may be distributed to participants associated with that study. The survey appears in their Kernel Cloud Participant Account. Researchers can request that participants complete the surveys prior to partaking in the study or afterwards (or both), but all data gathered in the survey is collected and stored in the organization’s Kernel Cloud account.

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Using Kernel Cloud to manage and disseminate surveys (rather than doing it through another system) allows you to effortlessly and reliably link Survey data with Flow data collected during related studies. 

Surveys must be created in a specific layout, stored in the JSON or YAML format.  You can also create a survey directly in the Survey Builder tool in the Researcher Portal. Image; Data Streams section of Session page in Researcher Portal with Upload New Survey and Build New Survey buttons called out.

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While the Survey Builder makes it very easy to generate surveys, creating or editing surveys manually allows for additional customization, including the ability to add steps, which appear as separate pages to the participant, and facilitate skipping questions based on the results of previous questions.

To upload a survey to a study:

  1. Navigate to the Study page in the Researcher Portal and click Settings.
  2. Scroll down to the Data Streams section and click the Upload New Survey icon.

An Open File dialog appears.

  1. Choose a properly configured .json or yaml file and click OK.

The survey is added to the Surveys List.

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For full details about survey content, see Survey formatting requirements.


To build a new survey:

  1. Navigate to the Study page in the Researcher Portal and click Settings.
  2. Scroll down to the Data Streams section and click the Build New Survey button.The Survey Builder window appears.
    Image: Survey Builder dialog with a variety of controls called out.The Survey Builder allows you to create a survey one question at a time.
  3. Click the Edit button next to the name to customize your survey's name.
  4. To create a new question, fill out the subsequent fields, prior to clicking the Add Question button.
  5. Select a question type. Additional fields may appear depending on which of the five question types you choose: 
    • Instructions: are just text on screen. No input is required from the participant.
    • Input: For questions requiring unrestricted text entry by the participant.
    • Number: For questions requiring an input restricted to a numerical value.
    • Range: For questions requiring an answer along a numerical range (e.g. 1-10). 
      • Minimum Value: The lowest value option for data analysis purposes.
      • Minimum Label: The onscreen label for the left side of the slider.
      • Maximum Value: The highest value option for data analysis purposes.
      • Maximum Label: The onscreen label for the right side of the slider.
      • Steps: the number of increments between lowest and highest along the slider.
    • Multiple Choice: For questions with at least two pre-defined answer choices. "Yes or No" questions are an example of a two-answer multiple choice question.
      • Label:  For each answer choice, the text that appears in the pop-up menu.
      • Value: For each answer choice, the value to be used for data analysis.
        • If Value is specified as "other," a text entry field will appear if that choice is selected.
      • Skip to (step ID) (optional)If your survey includes Steps (see Tip above) you can program the survey to skip to a specific step if this answer choice is selected.
      • Add Choice: Click this button to add the answer choice to the list, 
      • Re-enter Label and Value data for each answer choice. All multiple choice questions require at least 2 choices.
    • Multiple Choice Radio: The same as Multiple Choice, but appears on screen as a list of items with radio buttons beside each list item. Only one button may be selected. This may be helpful with questions that contain choices with lengthy text that may be easier to read when presented on screen in the radio list rather than in the pop-up menu.
      • Label:  For each answer choice, the text that appears in the pop-up menu.
      • Value: For each answer choice, the value to be used for data analysis.
        • If Value is specified as "other," a text entry field will appear if that choice is selected..
      • Skip to (step ID) (optional)If your survey includes steps (see Tip above) you can program the survey to skip to a specific step if this answer choice is selected.
      • Add Choice: Click this button to add the answer choice to the list,
        Re-enter Label and Value data for each answer choice. All multiple choice radio questions require at least 2 choices.
  6. For every question enter the following information:
    • Label (typically a number like 1, 2) 3A:  etc.)
    • Body (the text of the question): This field supports Markdown-based formatting.
    • (question) ID (a unique number within the survey to be used when analyzing or processing survey data): Not visible to the participant. 
  7.  Click the Add Question button to add each question to the list at the bottom of the window.
  8. Use the Arrow icons to the right of the survey questions to change the order that questions will appear in the survey.
  9. Click Save and Upload to close the Study Builder window and add the survey to the study.
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Clicking Close (or clicking the X at the top right of the window) dismisses the window but does not clear the Survey Builder. To delete the contents of the Survey Builder, click the Clear Built Survey button at the top of the window.

Once surveys are uploaded to the study, participants of the study will be able to see the study in the Kernel App, however participants cannot complete the survey until the survey has been enabled for them by a researcher.