A slide from the start of our virtual workshop. Welcome!

[If you missed part 1 of this workshop recap, check it out here.]

To follow up our in-person workshop in Lincoln township, we held a virtual workshop one week later to build on several of that day’s discussion points. Specifically, we targeted the creation and deployment of our survey forms, data collection using the forms, and data viewing/downloading from completed forms. We ended with a larger discussion on the overall utility and usability of the methods we’d covered during both workshops.

Our virtual workshop agenda.

Participants enjoyed a side-by-side comparison of our Survey123 and KoBoCollect forms, as well as an in-depth look at the forms’ creation processes. We tied this in to our field work from a week ago, in which discussion of culverts’ attributes and history proved key to successful application for upgrade funding. Collection/survey tools like the ones we demonstrated can make it easier for crews to quickly gather the data they need in a standardized way, and save time compared to manually writing down notes to be entered into a database later on.

Slides from our workshop comparing the Survey123 and Kobo interfaces.

After a break, we moved on to a topic more important than the ins and outs of survey tool components: usability. In other words, what changes can we make to ensure people want to use our surveys and find them helpful? Participants brought up some salient points, including survey length, downloadability when offline, and licensing costs (among other things).

Our map of Lincoln’s culverts among the WICDI database culvert points from that area.

We also spent some time discussing Lincoln’s culverts, which had recently been inventoried prior to our in-person workshop. Mark and Suzy came up with a color-coded condition rating that will change as new culverts are installed. In fact, our next objective with Mark is to update his culvert data to show the newly remodeled or upgraded culverts, while still preserving their maintenance history. That will be the subject of another workshop, though. To wrap up this one, we provided participants with links to all the information we had covered, as well as some of our customized maps like the one above.

To learn more about the topics we covered at this virtual workshop, and to sign up for further updates from WICDI, fill out this form. Stay tuned for future updates – we have another in-person workshop coming up at the end of November. Thanks for reading!

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