In Detail: Enhanced Task Moderation

Written By
Philippe Dame
  • Posted On
December 3, 2014

Recollective received another major update last week and it includes several important features that ensure Recollective remains the best online marketing research platform. This post details the enhancements we made for moderating participant responses to specific tasks. Study analysts and moderators are now able to:

  • Reject specific task responses and notify participants to update them
  • Edit any responses regardless of the task type
  • Delete a task response while keeping the rest of the activity response

Some Background

Recollective is unique in how it allows analysts to save and codify any text fragment submitted by participants. Analysts need only highlight text in their browser, from the summary stream or on a response page, to see a “Save Excerpt” menu appear.

These verbatim excerpts are an important part of the analysis process but they require that the source text not be modifiable to avoid a disconnect between the saved excerpts and their source. In this latest release, we’ve relaxed the response-locking process by opening up more task-response level options that benefit all study moderators. It’s now possible to selectively edit, delete and even reject individual task responses within a larger activity response.

Rejecting Responses

The most useful of the improvements introduced is the ability to reject a task response. It creates a streamlined workflow to notify participants that their response is incomplete or otherwise needs their attention again. It starts by the moderator selecting “Reject Task Response” from the task response page. This opens a confirmation dialog with an opportunity to explain to the participant why their response is being rejected and how that notification should be delivered.


What’s important to note is that responses to all other tasks in the same activity remain locked down. This prevents unwanted changes and ensures moderators can safely analyze and excerpt all other task responses. As soon as one task is rejected, the entire activity response is placed into a temporary Rejected state. The response is no longer shared with other participants and won't appear in any overviews or transcripts until issues with the response are resolved. Note that it's possible to reject multiple task responses within a single activity response. Moderators can glance at the activity overviews response table to track those rejections. The state is clearly indicated and an orange dot appears for the specific tasks that were rejected (tip: those status dots link you directly to specific task responses).


Upon rejection, a real-time web-based notification appears to the participant. If selected, an email is also delivered without any delay. The web-based notification remains highly visible as it appears in the “Awaiting Reply” section and it can’t be removed until the response is updated.


When the participant revisits their response, the reason for the rejection is clearly stated. They're shown their response in an editable format with simple “Save” and “Cancel” controls. Once the change is saved, they will be forwarded to the next rejected task response in that activity, if any remain.


Once the rejected tasks are updated, the entire activity response is again marked Completed and it's re-included in the stream, overviews and transcripts. If the study makes use of Incentives, all points for the activity response are recalculated and re-awarded. Another nice feature is that the original moderator that rejected the task response is notified when the response has been re-completed, closing the loop (with minimal effort) for moderators.


A response can be rejected multiple times if required but they may not accept your future study invitations!

Editing Responses

Editing responses allows for simple corrections to be made on behalf of the participant. There's good number of reasons why you might need to edit someone's response:

  • Personal information or inappropriate language sometimes gets added to a socialized activity and it must be redacted
  • Content from one task belongs in another and must be moved
  • Duplicate attachments can be submitted in error
  • Content sent directly to moderators by email can be added to the study
  • Formatting improvements might be required to improve legibility

In this latest release, moderators can now fully edit responses for every task type supported by Recollective, including Text, Multimedia, Photos, Videos, Polls, Image Review, Sort & Rank, Prompt and the new Grid task type. To locate this new option click “View Response” from any stream entry or select the participant's name from the response listing table found on the activity's overview page. Select “Response Options” and then “Edit Task Response” as shown below.


If you already saved text excerpts from the task response, you’ll receive a warning indicating they will be lost in the process.


Once you save your changes, the updated task response will be immediately reflected in all areas of the study including the summary stream, word clouds, media overviews and transcripts. Note that editing responses even takes into account the impact that it might have on points earned (assuming you’ve enabled Incentives). For example, if a photo was removed from a Multimedia task response, its associated points will also be removed. You don’t even have to think about it. Remember that you can still make direct point adjustments so feel free to reward and punish your participants as you see fit.

Deleting Responses

Deleting a specific task response allows for the quick removal of an unwanted task-level response without removing more than is necessary from a larger activity response (e.g bath water goes, baby remains). Note that it was previously possible to remove unwanted responses but not with such precision and not without impacting the “Completed” status given to the broader activity response.


Deleting a task response hides the content from that specific task response in all areas (e.g. word clouds, media overviews, transcripts, etc) and gives that task response a special status, “Removed by moderator” as shown below (not unlike skipped tasks). Note that comments on the task response remain but can be removed if desired.


If it was removed in error, no worries. Simply edit the response and the previous response will re-appear in an editable format. You simply press “Save” and the content will be restored. Overall, we really hope these changes make study moderation simpler while also raising the response quality from your participants. Please also have a look at our new blog post that details the New Grid Task Type.

Philippe Dame
Co-Founder & CPO
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