The first appearance of the WahlBerater

Screenshot of the article about the WahlBerater in SprachRohr
Screenshot of the article about the WahlBerater in SprachRohr

I already introduced the WahlBerater. Now it has made its first appearance outside my event horizon. A short article in the SprachRohr is dedicated to the project on page 42(!), see screenshot. SprachRohr is the student’s journal at the FernUniversität in Hagen, for which we are currently developing the WahlBerater. In the article we briefly describe the project and call for theses.

When I assembled my team I explicitly chose it that nobody is in a party or party affiliation and none of us studies or has studied at the FernUniversität in Hagen. Thus, we are largely independent, but we also do not know much about the situation of students at the university, which is obviously extraordinary: (i) the students rarely live near the university’s location, but are distributed worldwide; (ii) in addition, many do not study full-time, but actually have other jobs; (iii) others have already left the age of compulsory work and now simply want to continue their education; (iv) or something like that (v) and so on….

In any case, we rely on the students to describe their perspective on things. Where do they see problems or potential? What has to definitely change? And so on… Ok. Of course we don’t actually depend on them, we also have plans B and C, but theses from the students are potentially much more valuable!

To collect the theses I set up a LimeSurvey instance and created a survey in which participants can propose up to 6 theses at once. Why 6? We don’t know either. Was a compromise ;-)

LimeSurvey is really exciting! It offers the possibility to implement a lot of logic into a survey, e.g. ask only for a mail address if raffle is selected or ask only for thesis 4 if thesis 3 is filled out. This way participants can easily jump to the last page of the survey by leaving a thesis blank. LimeSurvey is also exciting in other ways, because it non-deterministically and automagically changes various properties of a survey. For example, clicking publish may suddenly change a single-line text field to a multi-line text box, or it suddenly removes dependencies between fields when you add another question. I’m sure the IT-savvy among you understand what a disaster that is!? I’m not sure if I can recommend the tool or if I will use it again myself – apart from the dropouts it’s actually very comfortable, just causes some sleepless nights… If you know a better alternative: Speak up!

By the way, we are still busy developing and organizing. Maybe a screenshot will be leaked soon… ;-)