Training Course in Mobile Data Collection Using ODK

Online ODK Course
Online ODK Course

ODK Training Course

What is ODK?

So, what is ODK or what is the meaning of ODK?

Well, ODK is actually an acronym for Open Data Kit. ODK is a set of free and open-source tools that are used for field data collection using Android mobile phones (Devices).

Over the years, Open Data Kit has emerged as one of the most popular tools for projects data collection especially because it allows offline data collection and submission to an online cloud server in challenging environments.

You can read more about ODK on this blog post we did sometimes back and leave a comment – What is Open Data Kit – ODK?

What is Mobile Data Collection?

Moving on swiftly,  what is mobile data collection?

Mobile data collection is the use of mobile devices to collect data in the field. These mobile devices could be mobile phones or tablets. We have 3 major categories of mobile device/phones namely:

  1. Android devices – Devices running the Android Mobile Operating System
  2. iPhone devices – Devices running the ios and 
  3. Windows devices – Devices running the Windows mobile operating system.

ODK works best with Android devices.

You can read more about mobile data collection here and leave a comment – What is Mobile Data Collection

Mobile Data Collection Technologies

Recently mobile data collection technologies have evolved tremendously. Let’s look at some of  the popular tools for mobile data collection available out there.

Free and Open Source Mobile Data Collection Tool &Technologies

These are some of the free and opensource mobile data collection tools. Kindly contact the author here if you have any additions to this list.

  1. Open Data Kit ODK – Supports offline mobile data collection using Android devices. Supports cloud data storage.
  2. ODK X – The ODKX Tool Suite is free and open-source software for collecting, managing, and using data in resource-constrained environments. In ODKX, developers and data managers can create data management applications that consist of survey forms as well as Javascript-based apps that support case management and also longitidunal data collection. You can read more here – Training Course in ODK-X for Longitudinal Data Collection, Management and Analysis
  3. KoBo ToolboxKoBoToolbox is a suite of tools for field data collection for use in challenging environments. You can read more about KoBoToolbox here – Training Course in Mobile Data Collection Using KoBoToolbox
  4. CSPro for Android – CSEntry, CSPro’s data collection tool, is available as an Android application from the Google Play store. This application can be used to run data entry applications on devices such as phones or tablets running Android version 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) or higher. CSPro data entry applications can be designed on Windows machines and then run on either Windows or Android devices. Read more about CSPro and CSEntry here – Training Course in Mobile Data Collection using CSEntry – CSPro

Other great Mobile Data Collection Tool &Technologies (Some are paid but have free versions adequate for small projects)

  1. ona – Ona is a Mobile Data Collection solution and application that empowers field teams. Ona provides a web and mobile app that allows the monitoring of real-time field data collection. It also allows you to visualize, manage, analyse and map your data.
  2. SurveyCTO – Supports Mobile data collection, automated statistical checks, real-time monitoring toolkit, sensor meta-data for QC and has a  robust form testing interface
  3. HojiHoji provides powerful, easy-to-use and secure mobile data collection technology for NGOs, businesses and consultants
  4. RapidPro – RapidPro lets you visually build interactive SMS applications and launch them anywhere in the world.
  5. Magpi – Magpi lets you quickly create mobile forms and deply them to any form and create reports with beautiful visualization of your data.
  6. Mobenzi – Enables Organisations To Measure And Maximize Their Impact. Coordinate field teams. Inform decision-makers. Empower fieldworkers. Features include: Mobile Data Collection, Workflow Automation, Offline Case Management, Data & Team Management.
  7. Visitbais – Mobile data collection app, merchandising, retail audits, field marketing, field sales, field activities.
  8. Episurveryor 
  9. Dimagi
  10. Zapier
  11. Fulcrum

The ODK – Open Data Kit ecosystem includes the following components: ODK Collect, ODK Build, XLSForm, ODK Aggregate and ODK Manage as the major components. Other tools in the ODK ecosystem include ODK Briefcase, ODK Aggregate VM, ODK XLSForm Converter, ODK Validate, GEOODK, ODK Scanner, ODK Printers and the ODK Sensor Framework.

The other tools that were inspired by the ODK ecosystem include but not limited to: Kobo tool box which is also free and open source, and Survey CTO which have a free trial period and a premium version with added functionalities and unlimited survey data storage capacity.

Other commonly used mobile data collection tools include CSPro for android (CS Entry), Magpi (Regular data collection and also supports SMS data Collection), fulcrum, mobenzi, visitbasis, dimagi, zapier amongst many others.

This training course will focus on the popularly used free and open source tools for mobile data collection but will also give a mention to the other mobile data collection tools available.

If you have always wanted to learn how to collect, manage, visualize and analyze project field data using mobile phones and devices, this training course is for you.


Data collection has always been an integral part of development work. In the past, this task was performed with paper and pen which made it prone to error, difficult to conduct on a large scale, and high in transaction costs.

Mobile data collection (MDC) tools and technologies such as mobile devices and software such as Open Data Kit (ODK) that allow users to create surveys, collect, manage and upload data to storage facilities in real-time, have reduced the conventional challenges associated with remote data collection.

Open data kit, commonly referred to as ODK is a set of popular free and open source tools that allow us to collect data using mobile devices.

If you have always wanted to learn how to collect, manage and analyze data using mobile devices, this training course is for you.


Who should attend?

This training course is suitable for anyone who is interested in learning how to collect and manage project data using mobile devices and Open Data Kit – ODK tools.


This course is designed for participants who are reasonably proficient in English and have an understanding of basic ICT concepts. No prior knowledge in ODK is required.


5 Days

Course Objectives

The course will introduce participants to tools and techniques to gather data for project/programme outcomes to stakeholders using innovative Mobile data collection tools such as ODK and other implementations of the ODK technologies.

At the end of the course, you will be able to design a mobile data collection, analysis and reporting platform using ODK.

Tools to be covered

  • ODK Collect
  • ODK Build
  • ODK aggregate
  • ODK Validate
  • ODK Briefcase
  • ODK XLSForm
  • ODK Javarosa

Also Read: Training Course in Advanced Servers for ODK (Local and Cloud Installation)

Course Contents

Module I

  • ICT Refresher
  • Introduction to  Mobile Data Collection (MDC)
  • Benefits of Mobile Data Collection (MDC)
  • Challenges facing Mobile Data Collection and their work around
  • Introduction to the ODK ecosystem
  • Introduction to basic ODK XLSForm syntax for survey authoring

Module II

Getting started – Survey authoring using ODK XLSForm

  • Types of questions
  • Data types for each question
  • Types of questionnaire and Form logic
  • Extended data types geoid, image and multimedia

Form Validation and Conversion for ODK

  • Converting XLSForm to xml forms using ODK xlsform.
  • ODK Validate for validating xml forms
  • Troubleshooting common syntax errors

Device calibration (Mobile Phones/Tablets) – ODK Collect

  • Introduction to ODK Collect
  • ODK Collect installation and configuration
  • Uploading forms into ODK Collect manually
  • Downloading form into ODK Collect from ODK Aggregate server
  • Hands-on Exercise

Hosting survey data (Online) – ODK Aggregate

  • Introduction to Google app engine for ODK
  • Introduction to ODK Aggregate
  • ODK Aggregate – Download and setup
  • ODK Aggregate administration and calibration
  • Data analysis in ODK aggregate

Module III

Intermediate Survey Authoring for ODK

  • New data types
  • Notes and dates
  • Multiple choice Questions
  • Multiple Language Support
  • Hints, metadata and more
  • Conditional Survey Branching
  • Required questions
  • Constraining responses
  • Skip: Asking Relevant questions
  • The specify (other)
  • Grouping questions.
  • Skipping many questions at once (Skipping a section)

Hands-on Exercises

 Module IV

Advanced Survey Authoring for ODK

  • Repeating a set of questions
  • Special formatting
  • Making dynamic calculations
  • Survey Styling and formatting – Working with the appearance column
  • Working with media files
  • Cascading select
  • External selects
  • Conducting Longitudinal surveys

 Hands-on Exercises

Module V

Form Design using web platforms

  • KoBo ToolBox
  • ODK Build

Downloading data

  • Downloading data from ODK Aggregate
  • Introduction to ODK Briefcase
  • Download and setup ODK Briefcase
  • ODK Briefcase calibration and administration

Hand-on Exercise

  • Presentation of course project by participants
  • Action plan
  • Closure

Also Read: Training Course in Qualitative Data Analysis and Interpretation using NVivo Software


This instructor led training course is delivered using a blended learning approach and comprises of presentations, guided sessions of practical exercise, web based tutorials and group work. Our facilitators are seasoned industry experts with years of experience, working as professional and trainers in these fields.

All facilitation and course materials will be offered in English. The participants should be reasonably proficient in English.


Upon successful completion of this training, participants will be issued with a certificate of participation.

Training Venue

The training is residential and will be held at the T4D Training Centre in Westlands Nairobi, Kenya. The course fee covers the course tuition, training materials, two break refreshments, lunch, and study visits.

All participants will additionally cater for their, travel expenses, visa application, insurance, and other personal expenses.


Accommodation is arranged upon request. For reservations contact the Training Officer.

Email: [email protected]

Mobile Number: +254 706909947

Training Fees

The course fee is KES 75,000.00 or USD 1,100.00 exclusive of VAT. The course fees covers the course tuition, training materials, two (2) break refreshments, lunch and study visits. Participants will cater for their travel and accommodation costs.


Payment should be transferred to Tech For Development account through bank on or before the course starting date. 

Send proof of payment to [email protected]

Tailor- Made

This scheduled course can also be tailored for your organization. To find out how our tailor-made training can help your organization kindly contact our team via:

Email: [email protected]

Mobile Number: +254 706909947

Joint bids and sub-contracting

We are available for joint bids and sub-contracting for assignments such as market studies & surveys, baseline studies, mid-term evaluations, end-term evaluations and any other scientific studies.

We will bring in our expertise to set up a mobile data collection platform, oversee, administer and manage the data collection exercise.

Other related Services

We also offer the services below upon request.

  1. ODK Training manual
  2. ODK training pdf guide
  3. Tailor made ODK training course
  4. ODK online training
  5. Open data kit – ODK training
  6. ODK collect training (For enumerators)
  7. Training in individual ODK components such as ODK Aggregate, ODK manage, ODK Build, XLSForms syntax, ODK scanner, ODK print, ODK Briefcase, ODK collect, ODK X among others
  8. Kobo Training Manual
  9. Kobo training pdf guide
  10. Kobo training course
  11. Kobo online training
  12. KoBoToolbox training
  13. Kobo collect training  (For enumerators)

Kindly contact us via the details below for more information:

Email: [email protected]

Mobile: +254 706 909947