To add a new question to a perceptual survey, click the Insert button. (If you've just selected a new survey, there will not be any questions yet entered, so you'll see a blank question screen.)
Perceptual Question form
The first thing you must specify is the sequence number for this question. You may use any numbering system you want for questions, however, keep in mind, if you use consecutive numbering (1, 2, 3, 4, etc.), it will be difficult to move questions around and impossible to later insert other questions. We recommend numbering your questions 10, 20, 30, 40, etc. to give you maximum flexibility in reordering or inserting other questions later.
Don't change the sequence number of an existing question if you have any responses for this question!
If you are creating a new survey, you can re-sequence the order of questions as much as you like, until the questions are in the precise order you desire. However, once you have begun fielding a survey and collecting responses, if you change the sequence number of a question, for example, from 10 to 11, you will no longer be able to retrieve any of the previous responses you collected for question 10! The reason is because all those previous responses were stored with a question serial number of "10", but now there is no question 10; you re-sequenced it to "11" (or worse yet, you put in a new question 10, and all those old question 10 answers will now get printed as though they were responses to your new question 10!)
For your first question, type in 10 for the Sequence Number.
Now, decide what type of question this will be. Select the appropriate type from the drop list:
Some of the options you see on the right side of the screen will change, based on the type of question you have selected. For example, Yes/No questions give you the option of designating a specific skip pattern for each response (the True/False forks). Pick list questions require you to specify which pick list you want to use for this question, whether you want to allow respondents to add additional items to the list, and whether you want to "lock" the responses for this question to another question in the survey (to create multiple answers to the same question.)
Editing Question Text
Perceptual questions use RTF (Rich Text Format) files to store the text that is displayed for interviewers. The name of each question's file (as well as the folder in which it is stored), is displayed in the upper right corner of each question's form. You can copy these files from the ComQuest Fileserver and edit them as you wish in a standard word processing program on your own computer, and then copy the revised files back to the original Fileserver location (overwriting the old version of each file).
However, there is also a fairly robust suite of editing tools built-in to each question form. Using these controls you can change the color, font style, size and format and centering of text for each question in your perceptual survey. In addition, you can embed keywords, such as the respondent or the interviewer's first name within each question. For more information on using these editing tools, lookup Editing Scripts in the index of this User's Guide.
Next question field in Perceptual Question
At any time, either when first creating a survey or question, or even after a survey has been in the field, you can use the Next Question field on any question to jump to another section of the survey. This may be helpful if you want to skip a line of questions for a couple weeks, but later come back to them (by removing the Next Question setting). You surely don't want to delete any question(s) for which you already have responses, so using the Next Question field to jump to a specific question sequence number after this question is asked gives you maximum flexibility. In the screen shot example above, we are telling the system to go to question 100, after this question is answered.
You may choose to end a perceptual survey at any time by typing in 99999 in the Next Question field of the last question you want asked in a survey.
99999 automatically tells ComQuest to end the survey immediately after that question is answered. In addition, sequence number 9999 is reserved, and should not be used a sequence number in any of your surveys. 9999 is used to indicate a completed perceptual survey. You may either add an AutoFill rule to the last actual question in your survey (keying the answer to question 9999 as a "Yes" response), or manually have interviewers answer yes to this question when they have completed their interview with each respondent.
The following four sections will detail the specifics of each type of question.