Combobox behavior

Survey Solutions user Patrisha Estrada has sent us the following question:

the incomplete preview of options [in combobox] gives an impression that their [respondent’s] province/ city/ … are not included in the list… Hope you can advise us on a possible work around for this. Can we accept the typed searches in the combo box as a response or do we have to completely change format to an open-end?

Combobox is a question of categorical (numeric) type. When it is exported it is a numeric column. Similarly in all syntax conditions it appears as a numeric. Correspondingly, it may not preserve typed text.

I can recommend the following:

  1. During the training explain to interviewers what a combobox is and how to use it.
  2. Include an instruction to be present in this question (this is what instructions are for!).
  3. Include “Other/not-in-list” option then ask a text question.
  4. Replace combobox with a cascading selection having 10-20 options at every step.
  5. Replace locator with GPS coordinates, which you then reverse geocode to admin unit.
  6. Avoid asking the question that has too much details and causes troubles for interviewers/respondents.

Having a text question will require a rather heavy post-processing for spelling variations, typos, etc.