Importing the Control File
Once the Control File has been saved as a ".survey" file it can be installed into the PIEL Survey App. There are 4 ways of doing this: email, messaging, file sharing or web server download.
In general, most researchers will choose to use the email option. It is simple and intuitive to participants.
- Email the Control File to a device with a valid email account.
- On the device, press-and-hold (also called long-press) the attachment of the email until a menu shows or the icon becomes highlighted (depending on which iOS).
- Then tap the PIEL Survey icon in the list.
- If the icon is not visible in the list, tap "More" and scroll to it. You can even drag the icon to a more convenient location in the menu.
- The PIEL Survey will be opened with the file imported.
- If you only tapped the attachment with a short tap, iOS will open the file as a text file. Don't worry!. You can then tap the "Share" button (it has a vertical arrow) which will bring up a similar menu.
Messaging apps that allow attachments can be used. These include Apple Messages app and WhatsApp Messenger. Please search these apps for instructions on sending attached files.
File sharing is more likely to be useful if the researcher provides the participants with devices, or the participants visit the office of the researcher.
The instructions below are for using a USB connection. For instructions on using Airdrop or Bluetooth, please refer to the documentation for your device.
Computers with MacOS version Catalina or later use Finder for file sharing. Earlier versions of MacOS or computers with Windows 7 or later use iTunes. Instructions for iTunes are below.
- Plug the device into the computer and open iTunes.
- Click on the icon indicating your device at the top of the window.
- Click on file sharing.
- Scroll down to the PIEL Survey app and click.
- In the window on the right you will see a list of all the files currently loaded on the PIEL Survey app.
- Either drag and drop the Control File into this window or click the button "add".
- The next time you bring the app to the foreground, it will import the file.
Web server download
Web server download is a good choice if you plan to have a larger number of participants and wish to insert the participant id in each file. This can be automated using a web server. If the participant id is de-identified, this should be acceptable from a privacy point of view. The use of web site download requires access to a web developer to set up the file for delivery and handle the web requests. We have provided some open source code to demonstrate of how this can be set up.
There are two basic approaches to distributing the control file by this method.
- Set up a web page for the project with a form where a participant can enter their id. A file will then automatically download onto their device. Please see our demonstration page.
- The second method only needs a link to the web site where the code has been set up. With this approach, you can just email the individualised link to participants. For example the link https://pielsurvey.org/control-file/sample/testid/ will download the "sample" survey with a participant id of "testid".
Control File Errors
If you make an error when creating the Control File, it is usually easy to fix. You will get an error message during the import. We have gone to great lengths to make the messages clear so that error can be fixed quickly.
If you are not able to resolve a problem importing a Survey File, do not hesitate to contact us through our web contact form.
The Home Screen
After importing the survey Control File, it will be displayed on the PIEL Survey home screen. Tapping on the survey will make it the currently active survey. Multiple surveys can be loaded into the App but only one of these can be chosen at any time. A survey is made active by tapping it. It will then show as selected (see screenshot below). The changes you will see are as follows.
- The survey will be shown as selected. In the screenshot below, the third survey is selected.
- If "can-run-once" is enabled, the start button will show "Start Run-once Survey". If not, it will show "Start Scheduled Survey".
- If "can-test" is enabled, the "Test" button will be highlighted.
- If there is data, a blue "action arrow" will be seen. In the screenshot below, there is data for the first survey.
A survey can be deleted by swiping the file name to the left, the word "Delete" will appear (see screenshot below). After tapping this, a warning will appear that all data will be deleted, giving the user the option to cancel .
The user can also email or delete the data by tapping the blue "action arrow. This will provide the choice (see screenshot below).