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Quota Control, randomized order of questions and skip logic

Hi everyone,

I would like to create different cells at the beginning of my survey to which the participants are randomly assigned to. At a later point of the survey, the different cells shall either see a picture and a block auf questions to this picture or the block auf questions first and then a picture. I have 5 different pictures but every cell shall only see one of it. The questions before/after the picture are always the same. Subsequently, I need 10 different cells which are assigned to the picture/question block combination (cell 1 sees picture number 1 + question block, cell 2 sees question block + picture number 1, cell 3 sees picture number 2 + question block, cell 4 sees question block + picture number 2.....).

So far, I've put a quota question at the beginning of the questionnaire and defined the 10 cells. I also put the qualification logic to "always qualify" and put check for cell membership to "randomize all". But I don't know how to assign the different cells to the picture/question block combination. I've looked at quota control functions and tried different skip logics but couldn't figure out the proper way of solving the problem.

Could someone please help me? Thanks in advance!

asked Aug 31, 2014 by Chris Jung

1 Answer

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Best answer
You don't really need to use a quota question to solve this problem. You can use a free format hidden question for example. Pop this question on an existing page where all respondents see the page.

This example below randomly creates an integer between 1-10.
<input name="HdNumRand_CODE" type="hidden" value="
Begin Unverified Perl

 my $NumRand_code=0;

 return $NumRand_code;
End Unverified

You can now reference the random number "HdNumRand_CODE" for skip purposes later on in the survey.

Another option, depending on your Sawtooth version is to use the SetValue and GetValue functions.

Just with the quota question approach, I would first make sure I am referencing the correct quota question names and then make sure the quota question is operating correctly. Do some test surveys and check the quota question data. Once you are convinced that is working okay, I would then concentrate on the skips.

Regarding you block questions and skipping within the blocks, look at the pull down menu for "Skip To". You will see all the questions you have defined but up the very top you have ...

<Next Question>
<End of Block>

I'm guessing this is what you are looking for to assist your skipping control within the block questions?
answered Sep 1, 2014 by Paul Moon Platinum (58,815 points)
Thank you very much for your reply. The quota question approach + GetValue function is working now (I'm using the latest Sawtooth version).

One more question: Since Sawtooth randomly assigns participants to the created cells, what happens if a participant gets assigned to a full cell? Will Sawtooth try to assign this participant to another cell until all cells are full?
Good question.

My understanding is only the open quotas are used in the allocation process.

This is the reference in the Sawtooth help regarding random quota allocation - "Evaluate and assign quota cell membership randomly, with probability of assignment proportional to quota cell limits."

Could someone from Sawtooth please confirm?
I've used a similar approach a number of times.  With any quota question (whether it's randomized or not), it will check for cell assignment in the order of the quotas or the randomized order and if a cell is full it will check the next cell until they qualify for a cell or until all cells have been checked, whichever comes first.
Thanks Jay, this is how I felt it operated also.
Thank you guys!