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Data Collection using Android devices

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Data Collection using Android devices

This workshop provides a practical introduction to the Open Data Kit (ODK), and how to use it to collect data using Android devices. The day will consist of a mix of discussions based on prepared examples of digital forms and guided practical work that will get you working directly with the tools to create and use your own forms.

Course Code

S3RIDCAD

Course Date

14th November 2017

Places Available

Course Leader

Dankmar Bohning
Course Description

This workshop provides a practical introduction to the Open Data Kit (ODK), and how to use it to collect data using Android devices. The day will consist of a mix of discussions based on prepared examples of digital forms and guided practical work that will get you working directly with the tools to create and use your own forms.  

At the end of the workshop, participants will:

  • be able to design simple digital forms
  • be able to upload and download data collected with ODK
  • be familiar enough with ODK to continue developing skills on their own
  • know about a range of online resources to aid the development of good data collection forms.

Many people are familiar with online survey tools such as SurveyMonkey or Doodle Polls. These tools are great for simple online data collection, but they often fall short when you need a more complex or robust questionnaire, or if you need to collect data in different contexts, for example in areas with limited internet access. This is where a toolkit such as ODK is useful.

ODK is a widely used, freely available set of tools for digital data collection. It is used extensively in international settings, particularly in humanitarian and health-related projects. ODK has many uses, for example creating questionnaires for surveys, entering lab results into a system or collecting field experiment data.

In this workshop, we will show some examples of digital data collection, including some of the things you can do digitally that you could not do with paper forms, for example easily collecting multimedia and GPS data, or using barcodes to quickly enter complex ID strings. Participants will also get the chance to create their own digital forms and, working in groups, collect some data of their own.

To enable us to focus on form creation and use of the tools, we will use Kobo Toolbox (kobotoolbox.org) to provide participants with a free server for the practical activities.

As this is only a one-day introduction, we will not cover more complex form design, or how to setup and manage your own ODK Aggregate servers. We will also not cover aspects of study / survey design, although we will highlight some aspects of the technology that can improve the quality of the data you collect.

Who is the workshop for?

It is intended for researchers and others who need collect their own data as part of their work.

Requirements

To participate in the practical sessions, participants will need a mobile device - either a tablet or a smart phone. While the title says “Android” devices, iPhone / iPad users are also welcome, and we will show examples of using Enketo web forms (https://enketo.org) - a cross-platform method for data collection using ODK.

No prior knowledge of ODK or other digital data collection tools is required, but participants should be comfortable working in a spreadsheet package such as MS Excel.

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