New Feature Added to StatPac Web Survey Module

10-30-05

The web survey module has been enhanced to provide the ability to randomize the order of questions and response choices.

Traditional paper and pencil questionnaires typically use rotations for nominal data in order to vary the order in which response choices are presented to respondents. This is done to reduce bias that might be introduced by the order in which choices are listed on the page. Internet surveys have an advantage because they can randomize (not rotate) the order of the value labels (i.e., response choices).

The /R switch can be added to the end of the Radio or CheckBox commands to randomize the order that the response choices will be displayed in the respondent’s browser. Each respondent will see a unique sequence of the response choices. For example, the following two commands would randomized the response choices for the variable 1 radio buttons and the multiple response variables 2 through 6. Use a space to separate the /R from the rest of the command.

Radio V1 /R
CheckBox V2-V6 /R


When used in the above form, all of the value labels will be randomized. This is sometimes undesirable when the last value label is an “other” response. Typically, you would want to leave the “other” choice as the last one displayed even though the other choices are randomized.

Add a number suffix to the /R switch to tell how many value labels should be excluded from the randomization. For example, if the last two value labels for variable 1 were “other” and “don’t know” choices, the following command would exclude both value labels from the randomization (i.e., they will always be displayed as the last two choices).

Radio V1 /R2

In a similar example, the last value label would not be included in the randomization.

CheckBox V2-V6 /R1

The following would randomize the order of the variables in a series of horizontal radio buttons.

Radio Vx- Vy /R

Randomization will only work when the survey is online. It will not work on your local computer and the variable and value labels will always appear in the order specified in the codebook.

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