User categorization of comments
(using the Lookup page button)

Most researchers want to give respondents a chance to comment on specific areas or to make general comments about the subject of the survey. Such comments are usually useful and often enlightening, but always difficult to analyze.

Soliciting a comment on each question clutters the survey and usually leads to comments that are perfunctory and not useful. A general invitation to write in a comment usually results in unorganized comments that are difficult to summarize or analyze.

One technique to make comments easier to summarize and analyze is to have the respondents categorize the comments as they make them. Suppose you are designing a survey to evaluate a training workshop. Such a survey typically contains questions like:

To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statements?

  1. The course objectives were clear to me
  2. The training I received covered the declared objectives.
  3. The training I received is appropriate for my current duties, or duties expected in the near future.
  4. The course had good organization in the order of the material presented.
  5. The information was presented in an appropriate level of detail for my use
  6. Course requirements and advance assignments effectively prepared me for this training.
  7. Student handouts were easily understandable.
  8. Student handouts contained complete information.
  9. Overall, course objectives, organization and content were of high quality.

Creating a comment field for each question would give you nine sets of comments to summarize and analyze. However, these questions really are concerned with the following topics:

The questions could and probably should be presented within these five sections to help the respondent put the questions into context.

One way to capture these comments for each topic is to use the ToolFrame button for Lookup page.

  1. Create a comment question for each of the five topics on a separate page for each. Name the pages something like objectives, appropriate, handouts, organization, and overall quality. The comment should be a Write-in text | Multiline with a vertical scroll bar that provides for about 250 characters (about 50 words). Also put an Ok ToolFrame button on each page.
  2. On another page place some directions something like, "If you would like to comment on any of the following topics, click on the button and a comment page will appear. When you are finished typing your comment, click on the Ok button." Then create a series of ToolFrame buttons of the Lookup page type using the topic titles on that page. Save the page with a name like Comment Choices.
  3. Use the ToolFrame icon or Objects | ToolFrame buttons to obtain the ToolFrame menu box. Select Lookup page to obtain the Page Lookup button menu box. Type in one of the topics in the Button label box and then select the page that corresponds to that topic.
  4. Continue this process until you have a button for each of the topics. Use the Align function to line up the buttons and make them all the same size, shape, and font.
  5. If necessary for clarity, you could put in a plain text item next to each button to further explain the topic.
  6. Now when you analyze the comments, they already will be grouped into meaningful categories.