This page describes the new Control File format, which allows the creation of multiple surveys in one project. Please note that projects currently underway may still use the older Control File format. The old format will still work until the end of June 2022. Any surveys imported prior to that date will still continue to work but no surveys using the old format will be able to be imported from that future date. If you are using the old format, please refer to the old format instructions.
The PIEL Survey runs surveys that are created by importing a Control File (a text file with a ".survey" extension). This file can be emailed to participants or copied directly onto a device. The user interface of the PIEL Survey is designed to be clean and simple so participants can rapidly answer surveys.
The instructions for the PIEL Survey are largely identical for iOS and Android devices.
This similarity simplifies the job of the researcher.
The instructions can be found in in the following sections. Where there are differences between iOS and Android devices, a button will be shown to allow viewing of the alternate instructions.
In this section we provide some ideas on how to plan your research project using the PIEL Survey app. This section will put into context all the other instructions.
The survey control file is a text file which controls the survey. It is easily read and edited but offers considerable flexibility in creating a survey. This section sets out the required syntax and method of saving the file.
The first major part of the control file is the project information.
Following the project information are the surveys. Each survey section starts with "%SURVEY".
The core part of the control file is the section which creates the questions and the branching logic.
This section outlines how the participant imports the control file and manages the survey created from that control file.
Running a survey is intuitive for most users so only a brief explanation is required. In this section we also explain user actions when a survey ends. There is also a method of stopping a scheduled survey, but this should only be used if a mistake is made in starting the survey in the first place.
The participant will need to take action to send back the data at the end of the survey. This can be easily achieved by email or file sharing. This section also outlines the structure of the data file.
The data files are CSV text files and can be opened in standard spreadsheet programs. Some languages will need to ensure the proper settings are used to import the file.
This section is the most important for participants. Most Apple devices and many Android devices will run the PIEL Survey with no special setup of the device required. However, many Android devices limit behaviour of new apps using battery optimisation. The PIEL app needs to be exempted from this optimisation.