VULab Survey Tool: phpESP (Goodbye?)

Herb Wideman herb at
Thu Sep 25 17:27:15 UTC 2008


A few suggestions for the new VUL survey tool:

- On the question type issue: We will need to allow for two types of multiple choice questions: one permitting a single answer choice only, another allowing for multiple choices. As for fill in the blank type answers, again there should be two types: a short type, providing a small, 1-line scroll-less test entry box allowing a maximum entry of 5 or 6 words; and a long format, providing a three or four line text entry window with a scroll bar allowing for any entry length.
- Critically, we will want to build in an appropriate way of exporting data from the tool so that analysis with stats software such as SPSS is easily accommodated. One issue I am aware of from painful experience with York's current survey tool: the export module should automatically generate SPSS-compatible dichotomous breakdowns of multiple-response answers to multiple-choice questions. If for example there are four possible choices (a to d) for a question and any or all can be selected as a response, then the export tool should break the results down into four separate dichotomous questions (a yes/no, b yes/no, etc) as this is the way SPSS requires the data be entered for the analysis of multiple-response questions.
There are a lot of other issues around effective survey tool implementation including the types of options the tool should offer that are too numerous to go into here. Blake should be given access to York's survey tool so he can explore it and learn what will be required for an effective solution.


Message: 5
Date: Wed, 24 Sep 2008 21:23:12 -0400
From: "Ron Owston" <ROwston at>
Subject: VULab Survey Tool: phpESP (Goodbye?)
To: fluid-work at
Message-ID: <fc.000f4cb503fce3563b9aca003c54a2f9.3fce3a5 at>
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Your argument appears to make sense to me but I would also be interested
if anyone else more technically able than me could weigh in.

Assuming that we do go ahead and develop our own, the next question will
be what basic question types we include. I suggest fill-in the blank,
multiple choice, and rating scale (Likert) items for the first iteration
of the tool. Any thoughts from others on this? 

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