Composing Terminate Questions

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This question type is used to indicate that a respondent should stop at this point in the survey (terminating question), or that the respondent should immediately *link to another survey or web site, either produced by Lighthouse Studio or another software system.  No other questions can appear on the same page as a terminate question type.


*Note: It is a violation of the Lighthouse Studio license agreement to link multiple Lighthouse surveys such that the total resulting survey exceeds the data fields supported by your license.


Terminating Question


When a respondent reaches a Terminate question marked as "terminate," the survey is over.  Reaching a terminating question prohibits respondents from backing up to change answers to previous questions.  A terminating question cannot have any other questions on the same survey page.  Most survey authors include at least one, and sometimes multiple terminating questions in their surveys, where each is formatted on a separate page.  A common use of the terminating question is to terminate a respondent who is not eligible to complete the survey, given his/her answers to previous questions. You can have more than one terminating question in your survey (for example, one for disqualified respondents and another for qualified respondents).  


To make the current Terminate question a terminating question, click the Settings tab and check the Terminate Respondent box.  Specify whether respondents reaching this question are Qualified/Complete (5) or Disqualified (4). You can additionally assign a disposition code for each terminating question (a value from 0 to 999) that is saved in the respondent's data set.  This is useful for tabulating how respondents terminated the questionnaire if there are multiple termination points.


While terminating respondents, you could choose immediately to link them to a web site or another survey (rather than show the text for the current question on the screen).  In that case, you would also check the Link to a Questionnaire or Website box.  This functionality is described further below.


Linking Question


Lighthouse Studio can link to other surveys or another web page by using the Terminate question type* and selecting Link to a Questionnaire or Website.  This question must appear on its own page and must have no other questions on that page (and it cannot display text, as this question is not actually "shown" to respondents).  When the page including the linking question is encountered, Lighthouse Studio immediately links to the Web Address (URL) specified on the Settings tab.  That URL can be a web site, another program, or a login script to start up another survey.  (The page containing the link question is not shown, but signals to Lighthouse Studio to execute the link.)


Typically, you will want to terminate respondents and mark them with Qualified/Complete (5) status when linking to another survey or website.  To do so, check the Terminate Respondent box and use the drop down control to specify the Termination Status.  Once a respondent is marked as Qualified/Complete, they cannot restart the current survey.  If you are linking to an outside survey or program and plan to have respondents re-enter the current survey to complete it, you should not check the Terminate Respondent box.


When you link to other Lighthouse surveys, the URL you use in the Settings tab specifies the file (a Perl script) for the next survey to start up.  That survey will most likely be located in a separate folder on your server, or perhaps on a new server altogether (see below).


You might want the link to simply restart the survey.  This can be especially helpful if you are using Offline Surveys.  Here is an example of a link that you might use to restart a survey:


In the link above "mysurvey" is the name of the survey.  Also, notice that the example above does not have "http://" in it.  It is necessary to remove "http://" if using Offline Surveys.


The typical approach is to bypass the login (password) screen for the linked survey and automatically pass through the user name, password, or other information from the first survey.  We'll describe how to do this below.


URL link with Passwords


If you want to link to a new Lighthouse survey and automatically "pass through" the user name and/or password, you should link respondents directly to the Perl script located in the cgi-bin directory.  This lets qualified respondents start the survey without having to type in passwords or see the login page.  Let's imagine that we wanted to link to a new Lighthouse survey called "tep1" installed on the server, located in the "gonzo" study root directory, with valid passwords named myusername of "michael" and mypassword of "A6Z99".  In the Web Address (URL) field on the Settings tab, we would specify:


When linking from a Lighthouse survey to another Lighthouse survey, to dynamically insert the respondent's passwords (named, as an example, myusername and mypassword), use [%myusername%] and [%mypassword%], for example:[%myusername%]&mypassword=[%mypassword%]


You can also pass additional variables into the data set, as long as those are defined as pass-in fields:


In this example tep1 is the study name, a password called mypassword is used and the zip code for each respondent is already known and passed into the database.  You can pass in as many additional variables as you want, as long as they are initially defined as pass-in fields in the passwords area and the length of the URL doesn't exceed that supported by browsers.


When respondents are linked to the new survey, if the passwords are valid (and the quota is not complete), the respondent is sent to the page following the password screen.  If the respondent is restarting an interview, the page where he/she left off is displayed.


Dealing with Special Characters in URLs


Data that include special characters should use the Sawtooth Script function EncodeForUrl( ). This function will encode non-alphanumeric characters in the ASCII table between 32 and 126.


For example, email addresses contain the @ symbol. If you need to pass an email address as the username, it should be passed in the following manner:[%EncodeForUrl(emailaddress)%]


To be safe, you could always use the EncodeForUrl( ) function when using Sawtooth Script to include a variable within your URL.


*Note: It is a violation of the Lighthouse Studio license agreement to link multiple Lighthouse surveys such that the total resulting survey exceeds the data fields supported by your license.


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