Understanding missions and entries

Missions are assignments your participants complete concerning a specific topic. Missions can be made up of multiple parts, which can be seen as distinct tasks you want your participants to go through.

  • Each part has its own instructions, unique questions and timeframe.
  • You can decide how many times scouts should go through the experience of each part: just once, or multiple times over a period of time, generating a diary-style study.
  • Automatically move scouts through the sequence of parts, chronologically. As they finish one part, the next part automatically opens up to them.
  • Manually move scouts through the sequence of parts, chronologically. Easily open specific parts for specific scouts in Scout Management.
  • Each mission can have 10 parts and each part can have a media prompt and up to 20 questions, so you’ve got lots of latitude to gather the media and answers you need.

Entries are the bundles of data that scouts send you each time they answer all the questions in your part. Frequently, a dscout mission consists of multiple parts, with each part asking participants to capture a particular kind of experience and answer questions about what’s happening in that moment.

Each time scouts answer the set of questions you've written for your part, they create a unique entry –  just like in a diary study. Entries consist of answers to up to 20 open & closed-ended questions, including one picture or 30/60 second video – all of which are time stamped and geocoded. Take a look at  these examples of good mission design for advice on how to write your part’s questions.

Single Entry Parts (interview style)

If you want to use dscout to ask specific survey questions that your participants will only answer once, you can do so! (It's just important to remember that you can ask 20 questions total per part. And each mission can have up to 10 parts!) In the following example, scouts like David have been asked to submit only 1 entry to a 5-question mission.

Multiple Entry Parts (diary-study style)

In order to take advantage of dscout's experience with sampling methodology and capture a lot more data per participant, write your part’s questions so it makes sense for them to be answered multiple times. In the following example, scouts have been asked to submit multiple entries (3 of which are visible in the screenshot below) by answering the same series of 5 questions repeatedly in different circumstances.

What comes next?

After deciding how many parts your mission will consist of, and what KIND of parts you'll be writing (diary style parts, interview style parts, or a mix of both) it's time to write the instructions and questions for each of your parts. 

For step-by-step guide on how to do this, take a look at Tutorial 2: Building Your Missions.

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