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:
- During the training explain to interviewers what a combobox is and how to use it.
- Include an instruction to be present in this question (this is what instructions are for!).
- Include “Other/not-in-list” option then ask a text question.
- Replace combobox with a cascading selection having 10-20 options at every step.
- Replace locator with GPS coordinates, which you then reverse geocode to admin unit.
- 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.