EDDI Conference System, EDDI16 – 8th Annual European DDI User Conference

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Question Banks, Reusability, and DDI 3.2
Dan Smith

Last modified: 2016-09-27


Question banks provide researchers the opportunity to reuse well tested questions and promote harmonization of collected data. Creating questions, and sequences of questions, which are easily reusable, is now possible using DDI 3.2. This talk will discuss the technical aspects of reusability, and highlight Colectica’s new questionnaire editor that can connect to DDI 3.2 enabled question banks.

Questions in DDI consist of more than just a question text and response descriptions. They also allow for dynamic text based on previous information in a questionnaire. The same is true for a series of questions that may include filtering logic. The logic may rely on data captured in a different location within the survey, leading to a challenge when reusing DDI described items directly. Luckily for DDI users, in DDI 3.2 a loose coupling between inputs and outputs was included in the standard to allow directly reusing questions which rely on additional information. This loose coupling allows items in a question bank to be directly reused.

This summer, the staff at Colectica have worked to implement this new DDI 3.2 loose coupling feature. This talk will explain the background, technical approach and challenges faced when implementing loose coupling, demonstrate creating and searching question banks for reusable item descriptions, and a demonstration of including reused questions into a new survey questionnaire, highlighting Colectica’s new questionnaire editor. It will also show how reusing a question can create links between collected instance variables and their harmonized data elements.

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