Collect - collapsible training hints ("guidance")

What is the general goal of the feature?
Sometimes survey organizers want to share more information about the meaning or intent of a particular question. Hints can be used for this but they will always be displayed. A new hint form called "guidance" was recently introduced to the ODK XForms spec to represent a longer training narrative that isn't always wanted in the user interface. See

What are some example use cases for this feature?

  • During training, provide additional guidance about certain questions that is then hidden for data collection.
  • For long-running forms that don't need to be filled out very frequently, enumerators can optionally view extra details about a question to jog their memory on what they should say to their subjects.

In Collect, I propose adding a setting at the bottom of General settings > form management > form filling labeled Show guidance for questions. Possible options are:

  • No - this is the default. Any guidance text in the form is ignored.
  • Yes - the guidance text is shown below the hint text in blue italics so that it stands out.
  • Yes - collapsed - the guidance text is shown collapsed by default with the option to click to expand (e.g.

this would be a good feature, also if a comment feature too can be allow on a questions on a single select or multiple select questions so that the enumerator will have the chance of elaborating more on a question if the respondent is making a very important point on it.



There's a first pass at an implementation at, thanks to Joel for that!

Here is what it looks like if the setting is "Yes - always shown":

Here is what it looks like if the setting is "Yes - collapsed":

And after tapping on the (i):

It would be great to get some UI feedback. In particular:

  • The guidance hint text is smaller than the hint text. Do you like that? Alternately it could be the same size.
  • Do you like the (i) icon?

Guidance hints are supported as of Collect v1.15.0.


hi @LN can i get excel sample form for the "guidance"

1 Like

@Fabla XLSForm support is not yet available (see It will hopefully be out in the next two weeks or so. In the mean time you could add it to form XML. See ODK Collect v1.15 Beta for more.

9 posts were split to a new topic: Guidance hints in Enketo

2 posts were merged into an existing topic: Guidance hints in Enketo

Guidance hints have been supported in XLSForm since July 2018 and are documented at