[Solved] How to randomize column order ONCE (and then maintain that order on following pages)?


I’m trying to solve a pretty simple problem — my survey involves several checkmark grids spanning several pages. For each of these grids, the same list of cities will be listed across the top of the columns.


To help avoid selection bias, if possible, I would like for these cities to appear in a random order to any given respondent. However, I would like to have those cities/columns stay in the SAME order throughout the survey once that random order is selected. Otherwise, I am afraid that people may get careless and not think to keep re-checking the order of the columns (resulting in useless data).


This seems like it would be a pretty standard feature, but the chat line has made it clear that it’s only possible to accomplish this through scripting; otherwise the cities will be in a distinct random order with each new page that is generated.


The only other solution I can think of is leave the cities ordered in a “static” manner as I build the survey, but then change the city order manually during the week-long period while the survey is “live” — this seems like a clunky way to do it though.


Has anyone else happened to figure out a good script solution for this, or perhaps something even easier?


Any help is much appreciated!!

Brannan Doyle asked

    Best answer


    Hey Brannan,


    I just wanted to follow up on this one with you. As you noted, it does sound like this is something would require some scripting to get to work like you’re hoping. I was wondering if you’re familiar with our Friends of SurveyGizmo Referral Program? You may be able to reach out to someone on that list to help get an answer.

    If you do find a way to make this work, please feel free to post the script here. I’d be really interested in taking a look at that.



    Chris - SurveyGizmo answered

      Preserving random order from an initial question to the next  (a competitor calls this the “carry forward…” option) is considered survey research best practice for some styles of questions.  Would love to hear that SurveyGizmo would consider offering this as a built-in option. 




      BTW – Is there a feature request section of the SGizmo website?

      M Brian Riley answered


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