Data Collection Modules
The QDS Questionnaire Development System is a complete system for developing and administering data collection applications. QDS enables you to: produce all materials needed to administer a questionnaire or complete a form from a single set of specifications and easily reuse field-tested questions by copying specifications between questionnaires.
The QDS system consists of several components, or Modules. A module is one of the components, or executable programs (*.EXE), that make up the Questionnaire Development System.
The first step in creating a QDS application is to define questionnaire specifications in the Design Studio. Your specifications include all content and settings for your questionnairee.g., question text, instructions, branching instructions, consistency checks.
These specifications make up the Specifications File used by the Design Studio to build a QDS Control File. The control file is used by the Data Collection Modules to administer your data collection application.
The Design Studio is also used to build instrument documentation, including hard-copy questionnaires (self- or interviewer-administered), an Analytical Codebook, and a log of all changes made to your Specifications File (Change History).
Data Collection Modules
QDS supports both manual and computer-administered data collection. Each type of data collectionData Entry, ACASI, CAPI, HAPI, and QDS-Web™is associated with its own data collection module.
The data collection modules use the QDS Control File created by the Design Studio to administer your questionnaire.
The Data Collection modules create data files in a binary file format that may be converted to a flat ASCII file using the Questionnaire Data to ASCII conversion utility (QDA.EXE) or exported to SAS, SPSS, or MS Access using the QDS Warehouse Manager.
Data Entry Module
The QDS Data Entry module is used to key data originally collected on a paper form. The Data Entry module supports double entry (also called key verification or double keying) for increased quality assurance.
CAPI (Computer Administered Personal Interview)
The QDS CAPI module allows interviewers to conduct face-to-face interview using the computer. The computer displays one question at a time and allows the interviewer to enter responses in real time using the keyboard, mouse, and/or touch screen. Entering the data into the computer at the time of data collection eliminates the need for a separate data entry step. The CAPI module allows you to include information/probes for the interviewer.
ACASI (Audio Computer Administered Self Interview)
The QDS ACASI module allows the respondent to be "interviewed" by computer. The computer displays one question at a time and allows the respondent to enter responses using the keyboard, mouse, and/or touch screen. You may choose to have the computer read the questions and responses to the respondent using a computer text-to-speech engine or recorded WAV files. Entering the data into the computer at the time of data collection eliminates the need for a separate data entry step. Because no interviewer is required to conduct an ACASI interview, use of ACASI allows a single staff member to supervise multiple interviews. ACASI is also useful for providing a private setting for sensitive information.
With the QDS ACASI module, you have several options for generating audio. You can use the DECtalk text-to-speech engines, WAV file recordings of human voice, or a combination of computerized text-to-speech and WAV files in a single questionnaire. The DECtalk text-to-speech engine comes bundled with the ACASI program and supports English (American and UK), Spanish (Castilian and Latin American), French and German.
HAPI (Handheld Assisted Personal Interview)
A new Handheld-Assisted Personal Interview (HAPI) module is available for conducting interviews on a Pocket PC device. The HAPI program includes all features available in CAPI and is fully integrated into the QDS system. Using Microsoft ActiveSync, QDS users can install the HAPI program on their Pocket PCs and move HAPI control and data files back and forth between the desktop and handheld devices.
QDS-Web™, the newest data collection module within the QDS™ suite, was developed to allow researchers to design, develop, and deploy complex research survey instruments on the Internet. To learn more about QDS-Web™ please visit the QDS-Web™ website.
Once data are collected/recorded using one or more of the Data Collection modules, you may import the data into the Warehouse Manager for data management and export data for analysis.
The Warehouse Manager allows you to track the status of collected data and, for multisite studies, whether each completed questionnaire has been shipped to and received by the data Coordinating Center. The Warehouse Manager also allows export of QDS questionnaire data to SPSS, SAS, Stata, or MS Access database formats for analysis and reporting.
In short, the general process is to:
Create a Specifications File using the Design Studio.
Build a Control File from Design Studio.
Collect data using Control File(s) and Data Collection Module(s).
Export data for analysis using the Warehouse Manager.