A level is a type of questionnaire. By default, all new dictionaries only have one level. The maximum number is three. A good use for a three-level dictionary might be a reproductive health survey that has the following questionnaires:
A housing questionnaire
A questionnaire for each woman of reproductive age in the household
A questionnaire for each woman's child in the household
A pictorial representation of this scenario is as follows:
In this example, you would want each child to be associated with its mother, rather than the household record. If you were to structure your dictionary in a single level, there would be no way to easily identify which mother and child(ren) belonged together during data entry or during tabulation. To accomplish this, you would want to design your dictionary with three levels, each level containing a single type of record, as follows:
Woman of Reproductive Age Record
Child Record (one for each child)
In the Forms Designer you will be required to place each record's data on different forms. However, this facilitates the desired data entry behavior. You will first be asked to enter information from Level 1, i.e., the household. After completing the household form(s), you will then enter information for the first woman and her children (Level 2). When data entry is finished for this woman record the keyer will advance to the child record, and enter information for each child (if any) for this women.
If there are no further children (or no children at all for this female), finish the level by pressing F12 (EndLevel Occurrence) and resume entering information for the second woman and her children. Continue in this manner until all women and their children have been entered for the household—when finished, press Ctrl+F12 (EndLevel) from the Woman Form to complete data entry for this case.