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Manage Questions and use as Templates

Note: This page is still in the making. We hurry to be finished soon.

This instruction will show you how you can work efficiently with questions. In particular, how to

  • create, postpone and delete questions,
  • copy questions and sections,
  • change the question IDs and
  • create templates for questions and use them in workgroups.

The chapter is about the management of the List of Questions. To display the questions they have to be placed on the individual pages at Compose Questionnaire (Compose the Questionnaire).

Organization of Questions and other Contents

All questions that should be used in the questionnaire have to be created in the List of Questions first. There can also other contents be created - for example texts (Text Elements) and HTML code for embedding mediafiles (Media Files in Questionnaires (Audio, Video, Documents)).

The list of questions has three levels

  • Sections
    At the top level, the content is sorted into sections. It is a good idea to use thematic sections, for example, one section for each theoretical construct in the questionnaire.
  • Questions, Function blocks und Text
    Questions and texts can be created within a section.
    • Depending on the Question Type, a question can be a single item (e.g., a choice), an entire question battery (e.g., a multi-item scale), a task (e.g., an implicit association test), or a function module (e.g., a random number generator).
    • A text can be a greeting or an information text for the questionnaire, but also a HTML code for the integration of media files or a JavaScript code for the realization of special functions in the questionnaire (JavaScript in the Questionnaire).
  • Items and Options
    Many question types include choice options (e.g., in a choice question), items (e.g., in a multi-item scale), or subquestions (e.g., in the choice sequence) as subordinate elements. These are created in the Question Catalog as the third level below questions.

Create Questions

To create a new question, you first need a Section. You create a new Section with the New Section button directly under List of Questions on the left in the navigation.

If you have created a new section or clicked on an existing section to edit it, the Add Question button will appear below it. When you click on them, you can (must) enter a Description for the question on the right, under which the question will later appear in the question catalog. Also, you need to select a question type.

You have two options for selecting the question type.

You can select a question type in the Type dropdown selection.

Tip: WIf you tab from the Description to the dropdown selection and then type the name of a question type on the keyboard (e.g. “Text”), the available question types will be filtered accordingly.

Filter question types

Selection via Illustrations

Alternatively, after entering the Description you can scroll down and click on one of the images representing the different question types.

If you move the mouse pointer over the images, a short description of the respective question type is displayed. In addition, ready-made templates are offered for selection for some question types. These templates either contain frequently needed texts (e.g. the labels for a 5-point Likert scale) or show a possible presentation variant of the question type (e.g. the “little cards” for the choice question). When using the underlying question type, these settings can of course also be made manually afterwards.

question type template "Horizontal Selection"

Move Questions to another Section

There are two ways to move questions to another rubric.

(1) On the one hand, the question in the List of Questions can simply be moved to another category by dragging and dropping. To do this, click on the question, keep the mouse button clicked and then move the question to another section by moving the mouse pointer.

(2) On the other hand, you can click a button in the toolbar above the question to move the question to another section. After the click you will be offered a list of headings where you can move the question. The toolbar is displayed when you have clicked the question in the question catalog for editing.

Move question to another section

If you move a question to another section, the identifier of the question will change. This is composed of the heading identifier (two digits) and a consecutive number within the heading. Together with the question identifier, the names of the variables also change (unless you have adjusted them manually).

Usually changing the identifier is unproblematic, because SoSci Survey will adjust it automatically in the questionnaire. However, if you are working with PHP code, SoSci Survey may not find all references to the question in the PHP code. Therefore, check your PHP code for correct function after moving questions.

When moving a question to another section, the question will be sorted at the end of the section.

Move Questions within the Section

You can adjust the order of questions within a rubric by moving them with the mouse (drag&drop) in the Question Catalog when a rubric is open for editing.

By moving the question within a section says the Question ID the same.

Order Question Identifier

After moving and deleting questions, the identifiers within a rubric may no longer be numerically ordered. Technically, this is perfectly fine, but you may find it off-putting from an aesthetic point of view.

To sort the identifiers sequentially again, click on the heading in the Questionnaire. Click More and then click Change question ID according to position.

Reorder question identifiers

Again, please note that SoSci Survey may not be able to automatically adjust the identifiers in your PHP code (if used). So after reassigning the question identifiers, check if your PHP code still works.

Delete Questions

If you no longer need a question, you can delete it from the question catalog using the trash can button.

Buttom to delete a question

If you want to delete more than one question, click the heading in the List of Questions. There you can mark the questions you want to delete and then use the trash button to delete them from the question catalog.

Delete multiple questions from one section

Important: There are two important limitations when deleting questions:

  1. If you delete a question from the question catalog, the variables associated with the question are also lost. So if you have already collected data, you will not be able to download the data associated with the question after deleting it.
  2. To prevent accidental data loss, SoSci Survey blocks the deletion of questions during the survey period if variables already exist for these questions. If you still want to delete a question, you can change the end of the survey period to yesterday in the Project Settings (be careful, this will interrupt ongoing interviews!), delete the question and then re-enter the correct survey period. However, it usually makes more sense to simply keep the question in the question catalog.

Copy Question

There are several ways of copying a question. Depending on whether you want to copy the question within a survey project, between survey projects or even between different survey servers.

Duplicate Questions

If you want to use a question (possibly in a modified form) more than once in the questionnaire, you will find two buttons in the toolbar above the question with which you can duplicate the question or copy it to another section.

Knöpfe zum kopieren einer Frage

Create Question Templates

If you need a question more often, you can save it as a template in your user account. The question will then be available in other sections and even in your other survey projects.

To do this, click More in the question toolbar and then click Use as template or share with others.

Use question as template

In the following form, select your user account at Share with. You can also adjust the title here and enter a description and sources that you want to remember for later.

Tip: This function also allows you to share a question as a template for your workgroup.

In the future, when you add a question in a section, you will find your template to choose from at the very bottom of Custom TemplatesUser Account. If you click Employ next to the template, a new question will be created with the saved settings and content.

Employ question template

Here you can also delte the template again if you need.

Tip: Just like a question, you can also save a complete rubric as a template.

Export and Import Questions

You can export a question as a xml-file. To do this, select More in the question toolbar and then Export this Question as File and Download. Depending on how your browser is configured, a dialog opens to save the file or the browser puts the file directly into your download directory.

Export Question as XML file

You now have the question as an XML file and can import it again at another place in the questionnaire, in another survey project or even on another survey server. To do this, select Add question in a section and then at the very bottom Import question from file with the file selection field, select the previously saved file. After clicking the upload icon (arrow up) a new question with the previously saved content will be created in the rubric.

Import question from file

*Note: SoSci Survey stores questions, rubrics and questionnaires in the container format XML. Also other programs like Word use this container format. However, each program uses the XML format with different contents and encodings and therefore you can only import XML files into SoSci Survey that have been created with SoSci Survey. So you cannot import Word files directly into SoSci Survey – the program would not know what question texts, explanations and answer options would be.

Copy Sections

You can copy not only individual questions, but also complete headings. There are two ways:

(1) You can save a section as a template in the user account – just as you can save a question as a template.

Save section as template

You can then find the template by clicking New Category in the Question Catalog (at the very bottom) or by scrolling all the way down in the Add Question.

(2) Alternatively, you can download a rubric as an XML file.

Download section as XML file

You can upload the XML file again in the same survey project, in another survey project or even on another survey server – under New section at Import Question from File.

Copy Survey Project

You can also download a complete survey project (questionnaire, questionnaires, small media files, translations, …) as XML file in the Project Settings and import it into a new survey project. This will create a complete copy of the questionnaire. Detailed instructions can be found at Copying a Survey.

Attention: Import a survey project into a new, empty survey project only. During import, any previously existing question catalog will be deleted.

Note: The data collected are not part of the questionnaire. They are not included in the exported XML file. The dataset is downloaded separately.

If you import only individual questions or rubrics, the rest of the question catalog remains intact.

en/create/question-management.txt · Last modified: 20.04.2021 21:29 by sophia.schauer
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