Tutorial 3: Screening Scouts

If you'd like to recruit scouts from the dscout community to participate in your research project, you'll start by submitting a project request form. We’ll follow up within one business day and provide a complete cost estimate that includes service and platform fees and anticipated incentives for scouts’ participation. One of our research advisors will work with you to help you design your research and then program and launch your screener and mission(s). 

Once your screener launches, scouts see it in the dscout app as a new opportunity, and they’ll complete an application in order to apply to your mission(s). dscout will collect and organize all the applications so you can review responses and decide who fits best. For pro tips and best practices, read on!  

Steps to successful screening

  1. Finalize your research approach
  2. Create a new screener
  3. Review and rate applicants
  4. Add scouts to your project's first mission and close screener

1. Finalize your research approach

It's important to plan out your research goals and mission design prior to building your screener, because your research design influences how your screener should be constructed. For ideas of what types of missions work well on dscout, take a look at these examples of good mission design.

2. Create a new screener

You’ll create a screener that will appear to our scout panel as an opportunity to apply for. You’ll be able to decide who will be able to see your screener with categories like sex, age and general location. If those aren't specific enough, don't worry! You'll be able to filter your applicants more specifically using knockout questions in your actual screener.

You can ask scouts up to 15 unique questions. 1 of those questions can ask scouts to take a photo or video. The rest of your questions can be open ended, multiple select, single select, scale, or number questions. (If you haven't already, take a look at this example of good screener design.)

You can also include 5 standard, pre-written demographic questions (education, employment status, ethnicity, household composition and household income) that don't count against your 15 question limit. All scouts have already provided their age, sex, location, mobile device OS, and a profile photo by signing up for a dscout account.

You will choose from several image options to help promote your project both in the actual dscout app, and on a unique web page dscout automatically creates when your screener launches. This splash page includes the incentive amount and the teaser you write–along with links to sign up for dscout, download the app, and apply to participate.

Once you have created your screener and mission, your research advisor will launch your screener for you.

3. Review and rate applicants

Scouts will begin to submit applications as soon as your research advisor launches your screener. Some scouts will be automatically marked as “Poor” based on knockout questions. All other applicants will start as unrated to let you decide how well they fit into your project. Use ratings, tags, and filters to help pick scouts that are right for you.


Use the slider at the bottom left of a specific application to rate ascouts as poor, weak, good, or amazing candidates for your mission(s). Feel free to change your mind and re-rate as you see fit. Scouts do not see this rating.

Filters + summary view

You can filter your applicant by responses to your closed-ended questions, demographics, tags, or bookmarks by choosing from the filters menu on the left sidebar.  Click "summary" on the bottom toolbar to view your closed-ended screener data summarized in charts.

Select all

In addition to assigning scouts a "potential fit" category one at a time, you can use filters and the "select all" feature to rate multiple scouts at the same time. Just click the "select" option at the bottom left, then the "select all" feature at the bottom right. From there, you can use the flag icon at bottom center to rate all selected scouts simultaneously.

Tags + Notes

When viewing an individual application, you'll see 3 tabs on that give you access to scout details, tags, and notes. You don't have to use tags, but they can be helpful if you're recruiting scouts for several different segments or missions. You can use the notes tab to write messages for the benefit of your colleagues that scouts won't see.

4. Add scouts to your mission and close screener

Once you've reviewed your applicants, you can promote your “Amazing” scouts to your launched mission by clicking “select” at the bottom left corner, then “select all” at the bottom right. Then use the arrow icon at the bottom center to add them to the mission of your choice! 

Next, you'll pick the appropriate mission from the dropdown menu and import participants into the first mission in your project. (This adds the scouts to your missions, but does not invite them.)

Once that's done, you'll be prompted to write a customized invitation message for your participants, and invite them to get started using your mission's scout management page.

When you no longer need additional scouts to apply for your mission(s), it's time to close your screener. You'll still be able to access all your applications, and you can add scouts to your mission. This will simply prevent new scouts from applying. Just click "setup" on the top toolbar and then scroll to the bottom of the page to find the "close screener" button. (Once a screener is closed, it cannot be reopened.)

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