CVA Paper and Pencil Studies

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Lighthouse Studio lets you run your CVA studies via Web, over devices not necessarily connected to the web (CAPI installation), or as paper-and-pencil questionnaires.  The process of running paper-based CVA studies is very similar to computer-based CVA studies.  You should set up your attributes, levels, and compose your conjoint tasks in the same manner as if you were going to run a computerized study.  However, you should probably choose plain black (text) on white (background) for questionnaire colors, unless you plan to print the questionnaires in color.


By default, CVA's questionnaire designer assumes computerized interviewing with 10 questionnaire versions (you can change the number of versions through the Advanced Settings).  Because of the added costs for managing multiple versions of the questionnaire in the field (and the added possibility of introducing an error), you will probably not want to employ so many versions within paper-and-pencil interviewing.  You will create one or just a few versions (design blocks) of the questionnaire and assign respondents (randomly) to take one of the different questionnaire versions.  For more information about the choice of how many versions to use in the questionnaire, please see the section on CVA Design Strategies.  


Saving the Questionnaire


When you click the Field | Create Paper & Pencil Interviews… button, each version of your questionnaire is saved to a separate file within the Paper-and-Pencil folder within your study directory.  The files are named STUDYNAME_EXERCISENAME_V#.htm, where STUDYNAME is the four-character or less study name for your project, and # is the version number of the questionnaire (always beginning with version #1).  These files are in HTML format and may be opened with most any recent word processing software.


You should do any additional formatting you like to make the questionnaire appear as you wish prior to printing.


Note: It is helpful to print the version# and task# with each task in a paper-and-pencil study.  This gives an additional reference while performing data entry, helping ensure that you do not introduce errors when specifying the version numbers seen by respondents.  An easy way to automatically label your choice tasks is to add a function [%CVAVersion( )%] in the header or footer of the choice task.  When you do this, each task includes a label such as D - 1, T - CVA_1, meaning "Design #1, Task CVA_1."


Fielding the Questionnaire


Make sure when fielding the questionnaire that you are able to match the different questionnaire versions correctly with respondent answers.  You should also try to randomly distribute the questionnaire versions among respondents, so that roughly equal numbers of respondents complete each version.


Data Entry


After you have collected the data, you prepare a .csv file containing the respondent answers.  This file follows a required .csv (comma separate values) format, with specific labels in the first row of the file.  To see that format, prepare a template for yourself by clicking Field | Create Accumulated Data Template File....  A file named Accumulated Data.csv is saved to your study folder.  Use this template to arrange your data, and make sure to use the prescribed header row within your data file.  


The layout is:


Column 1:  Respondent#

Column 2:  Version#

Column 3:  CVA answer #1, etc.


Any missing data are coded as blank (meaning, if you viewed the data file using Excel, the cell would be empty; if you viewed the file with a text editor, the missing value would look like two consecutive commas with no text in between).


Ranking Data Formats


If you have used single-concept presentation and asked respondents to rank the cards from best to worst, there are two possible formats you can use for recording the data.  You use a comma-separated file, as described directly above.  However, you can either record the data as:


Answers are ratings/rankings

Answers are card numbers


If the answers are ratings/rankings, the third field in your data file contains the ranking assigned to Card #1 in your design.  The fourth field in your data file contains the ranking assigned to Card #2, etc.


If the answers are card numbers, then the third field in your data file contains the card number for the card chosen as "best" by the respondent.  The fourth field would contain the card number for the card chosen 2nd best, etc.


Accumulating the Data


When you have prepared the data as described above, you are ready to Accumulate Paper & Pencil Data.  Click Field | Accumulate Conjoint Paper & Pencil Data.... Then, browse to your comma-separated data file (should carry a *.csv extension) that contains the respondent answers.


Once you have accumulated the respondent data, you are ready to compute utilities using the standard dialogs used for any CVA study.


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