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A Guide to Question Types in the Survey Tool

here are 25 different question types available in this version of the Survey Tool, 24 of which are explained here. [The last one, the "Language Switch" type, is not relevant at this point as we are limited to using English as the survey language.]

In this reference document, the question types are divided into 4 logical categories based on their functionality:

Single choice questions which provide only one possible entry type. (Types 1-5) List questions, which allow the user to choose one option out of many. (This section is divided into two pages: Types 6-13 and Types 14-19) Multiple option questions, which allow the user to choose more than one option by checking checkboxes. (Types 20-22) Other, which includes the ranking question type and the function that allows the survey desinger to use "boilerplate" text in your survey. (Types 23 and 24)

Single Choice Questions (1-5)


The simplest type of questions - provides only one possible entry type. 1. Short Free Text When a respondent is expected to provide a brief reply to your question in freeform text, you can use this question type. Typically used to ask for peoples names, organization names etc.

2. Long Free Text Similar to the short free text question type, but allows the respondent to enter multiple lines of text. (5 rows by default). This can be used to garner more descriptive information from the respondent.

3. Huge Free Text Similar to the other Free text types, this allows the respondent to enter a very large amount of text, such as a report. The default is 30 rows of visible text with a scroll bar appearing if the respondent exceeds the 30 rows.

4. Numeric Input Only numbers may be entered as a response to this question type.

5. Date Input To ask for a response in the form of a date in the format mm-dd-yyyy.

List Questions, Part 1 (6-13)


Typically, list style questions have radio buttons where the user can select only one option. These questions may also be displayed with dropdown menus.

4 Please note that when a number of these questions within a survey have the same possible answers, they can be consolidated into arrays. Labelsets are very useful in these cases.

The Survey Tool already contains some pre-designed lists.

6. Five point choice (number 1 to 5) This is useful when you need a response based on a scale of 1 to 5 to a certain statement or question.

7. Gender (Female, Male) To ask for a gender choice.

8. Yes/No Very simple question type, allows respondent to reply to a question in yes or no.

The other List Type options are:

5 9. List (Radio) You can setup as many options as you want and even choose to have an other option so that respondents may enter text that is not one of your setup options. Based on our experience, this seems to be the most commonly used question type.

10. List (Dropdown) Provides a list of options in a dropdown menu form. When you have a long list, you can save space by using this type of list.

11. List with Comment This question type is a spin-off of the radio list type mentioned above. In this type, the respondent is given the opportunity to pick one of the given options and comment on their choice.

6 If you want to customize and REUSE answers and use custom Labelsets, the options are infinite and the Survey Tool allows the designer to choose how these should be displayed.

12. List (Flexible Labels Radio) Similar to the List (Radio) above.

13. List (Flexible Labels Dropdown) Similar to the List (Dropdown) above.

List Questions, Part 2 (14-19)


The Array type further extends the List type.

In this question type a matrix can be displayed in which columns are represented by the options in the labelsets and answers in the rows. The text of the question can be either a specific question or a description. A matrix style question type can be viewed as a sequence of questions aggregated into a single entity. It saves repetition of instructions for similar questions and keeps the respondent focused on a certain issue while they think about the various facets of that issue. The Survey Tool has currently 4 built-in array types: 14. Array (5 Point choice)

15. Array (10 Point choice)

16. Array (Yes/No/Uncertain)

17. Array (Increase/Same/Decrease)

The power of the Array type is maximized with flexible labels. 18. An Array of Flexible Labels This allows you to select a labelset for your headings, and lets your participants respond to a series of possible answers/options using those headings.

19. Array of Flexible Labels by Column The rows and columns are interchanged.

Multiple Option Questions (20-22)


Sometimes one would like the user to enter more than one entry for the same question; this is achieved using check boxes.

20. Multiple Options More than one of the options can be chosen by the respondent if faced with a question of this type.

21. Multiple Options with Comments The respondent can make a comment about each of their choices.

22. Multiple Short Text Respondents are invited to comment about each option presented to them. This is a great question type to get brief feedback about similar items, issues.

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"Other" Question Types (23 and 24)


23. Ranking This is a very interactive question type from a respondents point of view. The choices that you provide to the respondent (on the left) have to be ranked (on the right). Clicking on any item in the left column moves that item to the next empty spot in the right column. A scissor icon appears next to each ranked item so that the respondent can rearrange the ranking.

24. Boilerplate This question type is really not a question. It just allows you to insert text into your survey at any spot that you want. This could be to explain something or provide some instructions to the respondent. There are no answer fields to this question type.