New KoBoForm feature: Repeating Groups

#1

We’ve added a great feature to KoBoForm, the ability to create easy repeating groups. This is a feature that you can use when you need a block of questions to repeat some number of times. A good example is if you are surveying households and you want to ask a set of questions of each person in the house. You can’t know how many people are in the house, so it has to be flexible and allow you to add any number. You add household members one at a time, asking the same set of questions, like Age, Gender, and Income. You can stop the repeating when you run out of household members.

It’s a great feature and has been requested a lot. Previously you had to edit the XML by hand, but now all this is automated in KoBoForm. This feature is now live on the public KoBoForm at http://www.kobotoolbox.org/koboform/. We’ve been testing it in Beta, but it looks good, so please take a swing at it and make some repeating groups.

repeat group menuHow To create a Repeating Group in a survey using KoBoForm.

To create a repeating group in your survey, open KoBoForm and create a new survey.

  1. Add questions that you want to appear before the repeating section. You can always change the order of questions later.
  2. Now add a Group. You will find the option in the “Add Questions” drop down menu. You may have to scroll down towards the bottom.
  3. Name your group. Something like “Household members”
  4. Now add a repeat section, again from the “Add Questions” drop down menu.
  5. Name your repeat section, something like “Household member”. This will be used in when collecting data to prompt the user, “Do you want to add a new ‘Household member’?”.
  6. Now insert all the questions that you want to repeat for each member of the household. For example, Age, Gender, and Income. The same rules apply as any normal questions, you can change the question type, add skip logic, validation, etc.
  7. To exit the group, but continue adding questions (non-repeating questions) to your survey, you need to select a question in your active survey that is outside of the group. Then, when you add a question, it will be added outside the group, at the end of the survey. Of course, questions outside of the group will not repeat.
  8. Save your survey to browser, or save it to your desktop and move it to your Android device for testing.
    It’s as easy as that. Your testing and feedback will be much appreciated, let us know how you do with Repeating Groups. If you run into trouble, post to the list. You can also find these instructions in the KoBo User Guide.

~Neil Hendrick

KoBo Developer

#2

Neil,
I am using the new repeat feature, and I can not get the skip logic to work on the questions within the question repeat thread. Is there something that I am missing? I followed the instruction to the letter, and I am still finding that the questions are not given as an option. When I try to manually enter the question in the new condition thread it gives me an error message that it is not a valid question.

···

On Friday, August 10, 2012 12:59:26 PM UTC-7, Neil Hendrick wrote:

We’ve added a great feature to KoBoForm, the ability to create easy repeating groups. This is a feature that you can use when you need a block of questions to repeat some number of times. A good example is if you are surveying households and you want to ask a set of questions of each person in the house. You can’t know how many people are in the house, so it has to be flexible and allow you to add any number. You add
household members one at a time, asking the same set of questions, like
Age, Gender, and Income. You can stop the repeating when you run out of
household members.

It’s a great feature and has been requested a lot. Previously you had to edit the XML by hand, but now all this is automated in KoBoForm. This feature is now live on the public KoBoForm at http://www.kobotoolbox.org/koboform/. We’ve been testing it in Beta, but it looks good, so please take a swing at it and make some repeating groups.

How To create a Repeating Group in a survey using KoBoForm.

To create a repeating group in your survey, open KoBoForm and create a new survey.

  1. Add questions that you want to appear before the repeating section. You can always change the order of questions later.
  2. Now add a Group. You will find the option in the “Add Questions” drop down menu. You may have to scroll down towards the bottom.
  3. Name your group. Something like “Household members”
  4. Now add a repeat section, again from the “Add Questions” drop down menu.
  5. Name
    your repeat section, something like “Household member”. This will be used in when collecting data to prompt the user, “Do you want to add a new ‘Household member’?”.
  6. Now
    insert all the questions that you want to repeat for each member of the
    household. For example, Age, Gender, and Income. The same rules apply as any normal questions, you can change the question type, add skip logic, validation, etc.
  7. To
    exit the group, but continue adding questions (non-repeating questions)
    to your survey, you need to select a question in your active survey that is outside of the group. Then, when you add a question, it will be added outside the group, at the end of the survey. Of course, questions outside of the group will not repeat.
  8. Save your survey to browser, or save it to your desktop and move it to your Android device for testing.
    It’s as easy as that. Your testing and feedback will be much appreciated, let us know how you do with Repeating Groups. If you run into trouble, post to the list. You can also find these instructions in the KoBo User Guide.

~Neil Hendrick

KoBo Developer

#3

Dear Neil,
I found your older email. Maybe you are the expert for our recent question:


Thanks & kind regards

#4

Hi
Hoping to fit into Neils shoe :sweat_smile:
I looked at the two forms you shared and I am a bit confused about what you intended to achieve with the form in referencing the repeat indexes. Can you please provide more information on what you wanted to achieve, that way we may be able to really provide a more targeted solution. I would also suggest you look at the indexed repeat within the article described here and see if it answers the questions you had raised.

Stephane

#5

Hi
thanks a lot for jumping in!
Yes, I knew the cited article. (We generally search/read first, before posting.)

The requirement seems “normal”:

  1. We do a Household Roster (first repeat group)
  2. After this is finished, the enumerator will do Individual questions, ie. per HH member (2nd repeat). We create a person counter to link (together with a HH-ID), e.g. in SPSS, the persons to the HH. To make sure that the right person is enumerated, we also show the name. again.

With simple example attached you can see that the calculation code works behaving differently depending if you use a calculation TYPE or a text type. We were surprised and just want to understand why.

In the before attached example we copied both types and a filter to switch. This was just for easy demonstration of the different behaviour (instead of 2 xls).

Let me take the chance, please, to say that our optimistic requirements would even go further (and we would highly appreciate your advice, please): I post them in an additional topic… See Structure and navigation for KoBoCollect (HH Roster, Individual questionnaires, etc.).

Hopefully waiting for your feedback…
Kind regards

1 Like
#6

Hi
This is basically how the various question types are treated by default when you run a form. When you use a calculate question, it will be hidden from you and you will not see it, however you must know that it runs on the background and you just do not get to see it. However when you use a text question with a calculate function included, the text will be shown by default unless you hide it by making it not visible. Essentially what you see in the text is exactly what would happen on the calculate but in the background…

With that in mind, I normally recommend to use the other question types other than calculate when your main interest is to show the question on the screen when it has been calculated. An example would be if you are autocomputing age and you want it shown so that you can confirm the age to the respondent (thought not related to index repeat element you indicated).

Based on the above, I think this topic therefore relates to use of calculate question type directly as opposed to other question types when the need is to simply call up an entry to be used for dynamic text referencing in a subsequent question within another set of repeat groups. You can definitely use other (text, integer) question types, they will however appear on the screen which is some how “odd”; you are better placed using a calculate question type instead.