Does using tablets affect IDELA administration?

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  • #3644 Reply

    Frannie Noble

    This question come from our recent IDELA webinar about Translation and Adaptation.

    Hi, this is Emily from Harvard School of Public Health. I know Marianne mentioned some of the technical challenges that they encountered switching to tablets – did their team find that using the tablets for scoring affected the administration of the items in any way as well?

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  • #3649 Reply

    Fabiola Lara

    Jonathan Seiden, Senior Research Specialist, replied:

    There are definitely pluses and minuses that tablet administration has. On one hand, having the administration on the tablet makes it move a lot more quickly because there are fewer sheets lying around (just the tablet+stimulus cards and materials). On the other hand, it can be distracting for some children and there are technical glitches that happen. Overall, I think there are a lot more pluses than minuses, and we can really improve the reliability of data by ensuring we don’t get missing data (and that the data was actually collected as they said it was and not just filling out sheets under a tree somewhere).

    #3655 Reply

    Nivida Chandra


    In using the tablets, if we follow certain checklists and protocols, it can be a more reliable and accurate means of data collection.

    We had our enumerators first train on paper, since they were not familiar with data collection on tablets. On paper, they learnt about IDELA. They learnt to administer IDELA on paper, and kept a copy with them just in case.
    We then carved out about 2 days in the 5 day training for them the learn about tablets (switching them on/off, opening the app, using it online/offline, uploading, trouble shooting, batter conversation, not using the tablet for purposes other than data collection). We did a ton of field practice using the tablets.

    The other thing we did was code only the question and response texts on the tablets. We kept all the visual items in a large kit – which each enumerator had to place in order before beginning any assessment. We also gave everyone a flip book which had only one question+image per sheet. All of this was to ease their use of materials and tablets together, which can otherwise be a source of confusion.

    We also disallowed the skipping of items in the tablets. This immensely reduced the possibility of returning to questions or skipping them by mistake.

    We also did daily checks – data had to be uploaded daily and we would check each evening if everyone’s data was in, and if they were missing data by any chance.

    And of course, intense monitoring in the field. If we felt someone was not coping with the administration, they were immediately pulled out and trained some more.

    After a couple of weeks, it becomes natural to use the tablets and in my personal opinion, it does not adversely affect the data collection at all.

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