​Recording accurate and reliable answers to open questions when surveying face-to-face can be difficult; interviewers may summarize an answer in order to make the task more manageable, or participants may self-censor answers if they see the interviewer is having difficulty keeping up.

With this new development for Snap Mobile Anywhere, you can easily capture rich qualitative data – expressed in the participants’ own words – with up to one hour recording time per question.

This worksheet describes how to:

  • Configure an open-ended question to record audio
  • Use Snap Mobile Anywhere to record participant answers
  • Download audio files

This worksheet contains some notes on privacy considerations at the end.

Please note: This feature is available for Snap Mobile Anywhere surveys running on iOS and Android devices only.

Step 1 – Configure an open-ended question to record audio

To record an audio response you will first need to set up a Snap Mobile Anywhere survey, with an open ended question. This question can then be configured using ‘Data Picker’ to accept an audio response.

    1. Highlight the open ended question
    2. Choose ‘Show’ and ‘Data Picker’ in the toolbar.
    3. Tick ‘Show’.
      show data picker
    4. Select ‘Attach audio‘. You can also set the color and size of the mic button which launches the recorder. Note: You can also configure open questions to accept a photograph taken using the devices camera, in response.
      attach audio

      Your survey question will look like this:

      audio response mic symbol
    5. Publish and upload the survey to Snap WebHost.

Step 2 – Use Snap Mobile Anywhere to record participant answers

Start the survey, and assign to appropriate interviewer account(s). When the survey is viewed in the Snap Mobile Anywhere app, the mic symbol indicates that an audio response can be given.

    1. Click the mic button mic button to record audio responses
    2. The player will open.
      Click red record button to record
      Click stop recording button to stop recording
      Click keep recording button to keep the recording
      Click delete recording button to delete the recording
    3. Submit the survey response.

Step 3 – Download audio files

When surveys and data have been synchronized with Snap WebHost, the Summary tab will indicate that survey responses and attachments are available to download. MPEG Audio files are downloaded separately from survey data. They can be played using an appropriate media player.

    1. Click ‘Download attachments
      download attachments
    2. The attachment window opens. In this example, there are 4 audio files. The unique reference includes the question number to which the audio file relates. Click ‘Download All’ and save the audio files to a convenient location on your computer or network:
      attachment window
    3. Import survey data into Snap. Here, Q2 is visible in the data entry window, and the associated audio file is shown as saved in Windows:
      Q2 data entry & audio file windows

      Each audio file is named with a unique reference number, identifying the case and question to which it relates. In this example the response field for Q2 contains the response ‘ref:00000000001:Q2’. The audio file of the same name can then be played. You may wish to transcribe the response into the Data Entry window.

Note: As well as providing your participants with the privacy information that you would provide for any other survey, you should ensure that your participants are aware that their responses to a particular question are being recorded, and that you have a basis for recording their response, such as their consent. For example, you can create a Multi Choice style consent question:

  1. Open your survey in the Questionnaire Window and Design Mode design icon.
  2. Click into the first title or question field at the top of your questionnaire.
  3. Click plus | add to create a new question.
  4. Select the dropdown list on the toolbar where it says Single Choice and change it to Multi Choice. The shape of the response boxes changes from a radio button to a square.
  5. Click on the field below and Press [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [B] to insert a page break above your new question (alternatively click the right–hand button on the mouse and select Break and Page Break.
  6. In the area marked Click here for text enter your consent request text.
    consent request text box

You should either specify up front which questions are being recorded or, if you ask for consent to ‘some’ questions being recorded let the participant know when responses are being recorded as you ask the relevant question.

Where you have enabled the Attach Audio feature, a mic symbol indicates that an audio response can be given.

audio response mic symbol

If the mic symbol is pressed, a recording player opens. If the Record button red record button is then pressed it will flash to indicate recording is in progress. At the same time a recording timer at the top of the screen will commence to also signal recording is in progress.

recording player

This feature works best in surveys in the field where an individual interviewer is interacting with the participant, as opposed to kiosk surveys. If the feature is enabled for a kiosk survey you would need to make it very clear to participants that their audio is being recorded.

Further Resources

If you want to record the whole interview, see ‘Recording the Whole Interview‘ worksheet.

For a complete overview of creating, sharing and analyzing results from Snap Mobile Anywhere surveys, view the ‘Getting Started with: Snap Mobile Anywhere’ interactive tutorial.  If you’d like to learn more reporting your survey results, take the ’Viewing, customising the default Questionnaire and Summary reports’ interactive tutorial.

More Snap Mobile Anywhere worksheets

If there is a topic you would like a worksheet on, email to snapideas@snapsurveys.com