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Timer: Countdown across multiple pages

If your participants should complete a task within a given time, you can use a countdown. This chapter helps you create one.

Advice: If your countdown neither needs to be displayed nor does it count the time across multiple pages, you might rather look at this page: Timer: Go Onto Next Page Automatically

The following components are necessary for the countdown:

Setting the time

Start by defining how much time the participant gets. Save it in form of a unix-timestamp and make it accessible for the following pages by using registerVariable(). The isset() command makes sure the end of the countdown will not change in case the page gets reloaded.

// Save the timeout into the variable $timeout
if (!isset($timeout)) {
  $timeout = strtotime('+30 seconds');
  registerVariable($timeout);
}

Place this PHP-code once on the page the countdown starts.

Filter if time is up

When the time is up, the questionnaire should not display the page(s) inside the countdown area but jump to the next part of the questionnaire. You have to place the following php-code at the top of every (!) page that should be affected by the countdown. The page following the countdown needs to have the ID ''partNext’’.

// Filter: Is the time up?
if (time() > $timeout) {
  goToPage('partNext');
}

This code bit should be placed right at the top of the pages. Except for the first countdown page which needs the time definition code bit first (see above).

Time display

While the participant fills out the pages inside the countdown, you might want them to see the remaining time. Additionally, the php code above only checks whether the time is up when the page is being loaded. If the time counter is up while they are on a page, you need a JavaScript code bit to redirect them to the next page. You prepare this by telling the JavaScript how much time remains using php:

// Tell JavaScript the remaining time
$timeLeft = $timeout - time();
replace('%timeLeft%', $timeLeft);
text('js_timeout');

The actual JavaScript Code needs to be implemented as a text element with the ID “js_timeout” (Display: HTML-Code) with the following content. If you don’t want to display a message or you don’t want to redirect the participant immediately, simply delete the corresponding lines.

Note the first two lines that do not contain Javascript yet, but simply HTML-Code. This code or a different HTML-element with the HTML-ID „timeDisplay“ can be placed anywhere in the HTML-Code (e.g. in a question text). In this case put the above PHP code at the end of the page, otherwise at the point where you want the countdown to be displayed.

<!-- HTML-element to display the remaining time -->
<div id="timeDisplay" style="font-size: 200%; margin: 16px 0; text-align: center">&ndash;</div>
 
<script type="text/javascript">
<!--
 
// Get the remaining time from the php code
var timeLeft = %timeLeft%;
var timeStart = new Date();
 
// Refresh the time display and check whether the time is up
function updateCountdown() {
  // calculate the remaining time
  var now = new Date();
  var timePage = Math.floor((now.getTime() - timeStart.getTime()) / 1000);  // Time passed in seconds
  var remain = timeLeft - timePage;
 
  // Is the time up?
  if (remain <= 0) {
    remain = 0;
    // Stop the timer
    window.clearInterval(timerInterval);
    // Display a message (optional)
    alert(„The time is up.“);
    // Redirect the participant to the next page (optional)
   // SoSciTools.submitPage();
  }
 
  // Display the time
  var display = document.getElementById("timeDisplay");
  if (!display) {
    return;
  }
  while (display.lastChild) {
    display.removeChild(display.lastChild);
  }
  var minutes = Math.floor(remain / 60);
  var seconds = String(remain - 60 * minutes);
  if (seconds.length < 2) {
    seconds = "0" + seconds;
  }
  var displayText = String(minutes) + ":" + seconds;
  var displayNode = document.createTextNode(displayText);
  display.appendChild(displayNode);
}
 
// Initialize
var timerInterval = window.setInterval(updateCountdown, 250);
updateCountdown();
 
// -->
</script>
en/create/timer-countdown.txt · Last modified: 16.07.2015 14:01 by janisaltherr
 
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