Tablet-based survey instrument

Bachelor Thesis
Simon Bruns

The empirical research is responsible for collecting information on certain key aspects. The researcher creates a questionnaire, which consists of relevant questions to evaluate the participant. Thereby the researcher has to take account of direct and indirect influences. Direct influences are the questionnaire itself or the answer medium and indirect influences are the environment conditions or the characteristic of each participant.

There are multiple forms of a questionnaire, the most commonly used ones are paper or computer questionnaire. A paper questionnaire is a printed sheet of paper, where the participant fills out its questions. It is strictly organized as the researchers have to contribute the paper directly to their participants. A computer questionnaire is similar to a paper one, but it is possible to publish the questionnaire over the world wide web, which greatly increases the number of participants. The computer is able to filter each questionnaire according to the data of interest within a short period of time. Furthermore as the computer is a dynamic medium the types of questions are unlimited and it can record important meta data like timestamps. However, modern researches has discovered that participants of computer studies are often distracted from the questionnaire itself or are not willing to answer every question of one. In contrast to that paper questionnaire are mostly completely answered.

The idea of this bachelor thesis is to create a framework application, which organize a questionnaire database. As a medium of the application serves an android tablet. A benefit of using an android tablet is its simple and intuitive handling. Whereas a computer survey often depends on a short introduction as you have to use a mouse and a keyboard as input devices. The user is able to operate the tablet by touch screen, which is similar to writing on a piece of paper. Additionally as a tablet is a computer device it still has its advantages. As a result of that a tablet combines the benefits of both types of questionnaire.

The running application will be data centered by using XSD files to create an design and the content of each questionnaire. In the process the application extends its database over time as each questionnaire is archived. Furthermore the user can access every question within a library and create new questionnaires. The application saves the results of each questionnaire in an unique CSV file.


In this thesis an Android application, which is capable of generating and organizing tablet-based questionnares, is developed. The application has two types of users, on the one hand the researcher, who creates the actual questionnaire. And on the other hand the participant, who answers the created questionnaire.

To ensure a smooth interaction with the questionnaire framework a couple of requirements have to be considered. The developed application shall enable the researcher to create questionnaires for tablet devices. In addition the researcher shall be able to either include existing questions or create his own set of questions.


Empirical research is an important analytical method of social, human and bio science. In order to gain knowledge, it uses observation means like interview or questionnaire. Responsible for the creation of the questionnaire is the researcher. In the past the main form of questionnaire was the paper-based one. It is directly handed out to the participant and its course is observed by the researcher. However, in modern researches, the researcher protocols, in addition to the actual answers, further aspects like how much time a participant takes to answer a question. A paper-based questionnaire is not able itself to store this information. A more appropriate questionnaire form for this task is the tablet-based questionnaire.

In this bachelor thesis an Android application is developed, which is capable of creating tablet-based questionnaires. The application is based on a questionnaire framework. It is data centered by using XSD files to create the design and the content of each questionnaire. Therefore, it provides a database of questions, from which the researcher can create a questionnaire. In the process, the application archives each created questionnaire within its database. As a result, the researcher can access every question within a library and create new questionnaires. The application stores the results of each questionnaire in an unique CSV file. Besides the construction of a questionnaire, the properties of the questionnaire can be changed. The researcher can choose between different themes, survey logics or type of questionnaire like dynamic or static.




Created by Daniel Herding. Last Modification: Tuesday, 22. May 2012 10:51:08 by bruns.