Challenge at hand
Anthropology Department students were supposed to conduct surveys as part of their academic curriculum. The department encountered several difficulties with its manual paper-based process, and questions existed about the data's reliability. The major issues faced are listed below:
There has always been a problem in assessing the effectiveness of data gathered by surveyors, in this case, students, through questionnaires in a select group.
Lack of transparency:
It was not clear if the surveyors were truthful. It could be that they answered the questions themselves, making the results irrelevant.
Manually conducting a survey included collecting and collating the data in a set pattern. It resulted in considerable wastage of time and effort.
Hard Copies of data were prone to damage in the long run and could also be misplaced.
Because of the possibility of error in manual entries, the results were always questionable.
We developed a Web portal and an Android mobile App for the Anthropology Department to facilitate the entire survey life-cycle. The Android tablet app supports offline mode helping students capture the survey information against the questionnaire. When internet connectivity is available, it synchronizes the data. By utilizing offline support, students can conduct surveys in remote areas without a network. Additionally, the app captures the geo-location of the survey.
While the Android app facilitates conducting the survey, the portal enables extracting the results. The portal provides a consolidated dashboard for results through a secure login module to ensure access to eligible users. It also allows to drill-down through the results and sort or filter based on various criteria.
The super-admin can designate reviewers/teachers and surveyors. The surveyors could only access the Android app.
The reviewers and administrators could only access the responses dashboard. The system enabled them to download answers in the form of excel spreadsheets or PDF files.
Our web-portal design incorporates survey questionnaires. Administrators can categorize them appropriately and add multiple-choice or open-ended questions.
The surveyors logged in individually to the Android app on their tablets. The app captured the location and responses saved automatically for surveys.
In the web portal, surveys and questionnaires can be added, deleted, edited, and cloned. Surveys can also be assigned to a surveyor.
The app was also able to capture responses even in locations where internet connectivity was unavailable. Once the connectivity was available, responses could be synced automatically.
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High level design architecture
1. The portal and app increased the survey process’s efficiency by ensuring the quick capture of responses, automated collation, and analysis.
2. The accuracy of results is improved, thus ensuring the reliability of the surveys.
3. Maintaining the data in the long-term is now possible without any data loss or corruption.
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