Open Data Kit (ODK) Complete Course

person icon Jephithah Njagi Karani

Open Data Kit (ODK) Complete Course

Training Course in Mobile Data Collection, Management, Visualization and Analysis using ODK (Open Data Kit)

updated on icon Updated on Sep, 2023

language icon Language - English

person icon Jephithah Njagi Karani

architecture icon Development,Data Science,Mobile Data Collection


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Course Description

In the past, data collection was performed using paper and pen, which made it prone to error, difficult to conduct on a large scale, and high in transaction costs.

ICT tools such as mobile devices and software that allow users to create surveys, collect, manage, and upload data to cloud storage facilities in real-time have reduced the conventional challenges associated with remote data collection.

One of the commonly used tools is ODK (Open Data Kit). Open Data Kit has been used to observe elections, monitor rainforests, track outbreaks, conduct one-off surveys, rapid assessments, baseline studies, project mid-term evaluation, project end-term evaluation, market research, during and directly following disasters, and in many other cases.

This course is a hands-on, step-by-step guide that will teach learners how to set up, administer, and manage a mobile-based data collection platform using ODK.

Course Objectives

This online training course in Mobile Data Collection using Open Data Kit (ODK) will teach learners how to:

  1. Build/design forms (Digitize questionnaires) in ODK Build and in Microsoft Excel (XLSForm syntax)/Spreadsheet

  2. Check for xlsform syntax errors, validate forms and convert xlsform to XForm

  3. Setup a free sub-domain on Free DNS

  4. Set up an account on Digital Ocean

  5. Setup ODK Aggregate server on Digital Ocean

  6. Collect data offline on mobile devices using ODK Collect.

  7. Upload and aggregate collected data in a cloud server

  8. Visualize, manage, analyze and map data online

  9. Download data from the cloud server for further analysis


What will you learn in this course:

  • Digitize any paper-based questionnaire to an ODK compatible format using MS Excel and ODK Build

  • Setup a free sub-domain on Free DNS

  • Setup and operate an account in Digital Ocean VPS

  • Setup and operate an ODK aggregate server in Digital Ocean

  • Setup ODK Collect and collect data offline on mobile devices

  • Upload data to a cloud-based ODK Aggregate server

  • Analyze, visualize and map data online on ODK aggregate

  • Download data from ODK aggregate using ODK Briefcase for further analysis using software such as MS. Excel, Stata, SPSS, R, etc


What are the prerequisites for this course?

  • Intermediate computing skills

  • No programming skills required

  • A mobile device running Android OS

  • Access to the internet

Open Data Kit (ODK) Complete Course


Check out the detailed breakdown of what’s inside the course

Introduction to the course and course material
3 Lectures
  • play icon Course Preview 03:28 03:28
  • play icon Introduction to the course and to Open Data Kit (ODK) 16:01 16:01
  • play icon Course material downloads and layout
Form/Questionnaire digitization using the XLSForms Syntax
14 Lectures
Setting up the ODK Aggregate Server
6 Lectures
Mobile Device setup and Mobile Data Collection
4 Lectures

Instructor Details

Jephithah Njagi Karani

Jephithah Njagi Karani

Consultant Trainer in New and Upcoming Technologies
The instructor is a seasoned ODK, KoBoToolbox, Ona, SurveyCTO, CSPro, and other mobile data collection solutions implementer. Mr. Karani is the CEO and Founder at Tech For Develoment Ltd. He has been helping individuals, governments and NGOs implement mobile data collection platforms since 2013. Other than training, the instructor also works as a mobile and web-based systems developer and has a background in Information Technology.

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