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Advanced JSP Survey Features

nsriram's picture
Is current?: 

The overall  approach taken by the JSP survey system can be summed thusly:  The researcher expresses the scale content and behavior using a declarative format (instead of XML tags, Java string arrays are used with lots of "quotes" and {{curly brackets}}.  The idea here is that the researcher  expresses complex survey design intent declaratively and avoids coding or  procedural programming.

Then the system creates the HTML and Javascript on the fly and these are displayed/run on the user's browser.  So, part of the complex processing is done at the backend and all the user-interfacy stuff is done via Javascript at the participant's browser.  This entry makes a beginning at documenting the design of this system which is still in its infancy (JSP Surveys with many advanced features exist and they all are variants of a common code base; these variants, many in number, required custom programming and making a new variant  is not that straightforward).  When released, the aim is to make many features of advanced surveys accessible to users.

The story so far.  This system was first applied to the still ongoing Ideology project that used 3 large questionnaires.  It was initially motivated by these considerations: the affordance/usability gained by placing content on buttons, measuring response time, controlling selection and sequencing, and templating.  Since the ideology project, variations of this approach have been used in over 20 projects and the feature set has expanded.  In many of these cases, some programming was used to obtain the functionality.  Now that the system has a fairly broad coverage of the use-cases, it is an appropriate juncture to merge all these features in one jsp and encapsulate all the functionality using declarative specifications.  This isn't quite ready yet but once it is ready, it should make all the features easy to use.  So in this presentation, I'll probably take the time to show some of these features and talk about the development/testing process  on the official first version of the jsp system that makes most features easily accessible.