How to enable “Silent Recordings” of Interviews


A great way to enhance quality control of interviews is to utilize the “Silent-Recording” feature of SurveyToGo. “Silent-Recording” enables you to record the interview or parts of it without the interviewer knowing. The recording is then attached to the interview and is available on the Operations console for quality control people to listen to. This in fact allows your quality control department to “listen-in” on CAPI interviews and make sure that:

  • Questions are asked just the way you want them to
  • Interviewers are conducting the interviews per your briefing
  • Hear the tone of respondents and get an insight to how they respond to certain questions

Silent recordings can be enabled for the entire interview or for only parts of the interview. You can record one question or a set of more than one question. The steps to enable Silent recordings:

  1. Step 1: Configure the start/stop of the recording(s) in the Survey script
  2. Step 2: Listen-in to the recording(s) in the operations console

Step 1: Configure the start/stop of the recording(s) in the Survey script

Configuring the recording is very easy. There are 2 modes to enable it either by configuration or with a script.

Configuration based recording

That enables you to easily configure silent recordings without the need to write any script code. This is very useful in cases where you only need to enable simple silent recordings for questions or chapters. Simply check the Enable Silent audio Recording box on the Quality Control tab for either the specific question or for the entire chapter:

Please Note:  When using the Quality Control GUI Silent Recording we have a callback function named 'OnSilentRecordingShouldRun(inIsRecordingQuestion, inIndex, inIteration)' - This function returns true/false and can be used in cases where you would like the recording to take place based on a condition in the survey. 

  • inIsRecordingQuestion - Return true/false based on a specific Question
  • inIndex - Return true/false based on a specific Chapter
  • inIteration - Return true/false based on a specific Iteration

For example: In some countries we will need to get the interviewer consent to record the interview, in this case the recording will start only if the interviewer will answer 'Yes' to a consent question. 

This example will return true which means that the recording will start if the answer to QXX is 1.

function OnSilentRecordingShouldRun(inIsRecordingQuestion, inIndex, inIteration){
var retVal = false;
     if (Answer(QRef(XX)) == 1)
         retVal = true;
     return retVal;

Script controlled Recording

You just add start/stop recording script calls to the places in the interview you wish to record. You can add recordings in multiple places throughout the survey to record more than one part. To configure the start/stop of the recording(s) in the Survey script follow these steps: 

  1. Open the survey you wish to enable silent recordings on:
  2. Add the SoundRec.StartRecording();function call script at the start script of the first question:

    This will turn on the recording at the start of Q1
  3. Add the SoundRec.StopRecording();function call script at the end of the last question:
  4. That’s it! You have just configured the entire interview to be recorded. To record part(s) of the interview, you can put the Start/Stop recording function calls in other parts, so for example, to record only Q3, you can put the SoundRec.StartRecording(); at the start script of Q3 and the SoundRec.StopRecording(); at the end script of Q3
  • Please Note: When using this option if the surveyor stops and continues the interview the recording will not start once the surveyor returns to the interview.

Step 2: Listen-in to the recording(s) in the operations console

Once you have collected interviews from the field that include silent recordings, you can listen-in to those recordings by following these steps:

  1. Open the operations console of the project (you can learn more about how to use the operations console here):
  2. Open the relevant interview from the operations grid and switch to the attachments tab. You can then either click on the link to listen or click the save
    button to save a local copy of the recording:
  3. If you have multiple recordings in the interview you can listen to all by clicking the arrows:

That’s it!
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