ACASI Surveys: Benefits and how to create one

Audio Computer-Assisted Self Interview (ACASI) surveys use multimedia, specifically pre-recorded audio, in addition to the on-screen text, to facilitate better data collection. The addition of audio enables researchers to expand outreach to difficult-to-serve and special needs populations, as well as reduce survey error among low literacy groups. Furthermore, it increases confidentiality and enables a standardized experience for each participant, due to the elimination of a research assistant or interviewer.

How to create an ACASI survey or form

DatStat’s Data Collection Platform is ideally suited to construct and administer ACASI surveys. Below is the quick guide, used by our customers and solutions consulting group, for embedding audio into surveys or forms. Note: this method is used for simple ACASI surveys, in which one audio file is played per survey page; more complex setups may require more custom programming.

Uploading Audio

Assuming audio files have already been recorded, edited and saved; uploading the wanted files is the first step to embedding audio into your survey or form.

  1. While in DatStat’s survey editor, go to “Survey” > “Survey Resources”.
  2. Click “Add” to add a new file to be used within the survey or form.
  3. Find the file; click “Open”.
  4. Viola! Rinse and repeat for each audio file.


Once the audio is uploaded into “survey resources”, the next step is to make sure it plays. To do so:

  1. Add a “Text/HTML” object to your survey.
  2. Double-click on the newly added object, opening up the text editor.
  3. Copy and place the code provided below into the text editor.
  4. For “src”, add in the name of the audio file as it appears in “Survey Resources” (e.g. “MYAUDIO.mp3”).
  5. Click “ok”.

Wow – you’re a coding aficionado! Are you sure you’re not Mark Zuckerberg?

This is the HTML code mentioned earlier. This is an image, so a little typing will be required:



There you go! Piece of cake (or pie or whatever your preferred dessert may be). Participants will now be able to listen to question prompts and possible answers while taking your survey. As a reminder, this HTML code will automatically play the audio file once the page has loaded for the participant. If more than one audio file exists on the page, they will play at the same time, which may cause confusion.
To learn more about ACASI surveys and adding multimedia to help assist your data collection, please contact our solutions consulting group.

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