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Qualtrics doesn’t have to be tricky!

Oxy recently purchased access to use Qualtrics as a survey and data collection tool, and it is a great resource for both students and professors. Qualtrics is especially useful for comps survey collection and projects. I used Qualtrics for the first time last semester to plan, create, distribute, and collect data for my Cognitive Science Comps project.  The first few steps went really well, and I am still in the distributing and collecting phases, but from what I have already experienced, I know that Qualtrics has made the whole process easier with its intuitive interface and design.

Basic Info
Qualtrics enable both professionals and amateur researchers to conduct and collect information via survey research. If this tutorial isn’t enough to get you started, Qualtrics has a great online tutorial that is very well-organized and can guide you through any questions.

Getting started
Contact the CDLR at or Carey Sargent at to make an account through the Oxy Qualtrics page.

Once you login, you will be directed to the “My Surveys” main page, where you can create surveys, email surveys, and view results.

Other than the “My Surveys” page, there are pages to “Create Survey”, “Edit Survey”, “Distribute Survey”, “View Results”, “Polls”, “Library”, Panels”, and “Reporting.”

If you are trying to create a survey, I suggest following the “Create Survey” page. Here, you have a few options; you can build your own new survey, start from a copy of an existing survey, or look at the library templates of other surveys.  For creativity sake, lets build our own survey!

Once you decide to build your own survey, you will find yourself in the “Edit Survey” tab, where you can let your creativity run wild and change the look and feel, survey options (including the language, access, title, description, and more minute details), the survey flow (we’ll get to this later, since you can’t actually change the survey flow without any items in your survey to flow…), print survey (pretty self-explanatory), spell check, preview survey (a really cool button that lets you look at your survey in real-time and format, and launch survey (for when all is said and done).

But the first and most important part, and probably the thing that will take the most time in creating your survey is creating the questions.

For more help, see the Qualtrics About Survey Creation tutorial.

Creating Questions
Qualtrics offers a whole host of options for question set-up. You can change the type of question, the style, etc…

Questions in Qualtrics are organized in blocks, and you can title these blocks anyway you please. Each block acts as its own unit, so you can move chunks of questions together, randomize items in a block, and copy the block to a library so that you can have those questions easily available for later use, say if you wanted to create a duplicate survey. The library can also store files, graphics, and messages.

SO! Time to write your first question.  Since its more fun to create our own questions, you should first note some of the standard buttons that Qualtrics provides, which are very useful.  One is a green circle with a white +, this button is your create, or go, button.  The other important button is a red circle with a white -, this is the delete button (use this button carefully). The last button is a purple circle  with a white +, and is used to copy items.  The fun starts though once you click the green button to create a new item, because now you get to decide all the details of your question.

*NOTE: Qualtrics will save your information as you go, so there is no need to save questions. However, make sure you pause for a few moments before closing the window after making any changes.

Your questions can be static content, standard questions, or specialty questions. The menu looks like this…

When you slide over each option, it will show you an example of what the questions look like.  Multiple choice is a commonly used setting, however there is also rank order, which would be good for a satisfaction-type of question; graphic to make your question look interesting; descriptive text, if you just want to type instruction; and text entry, for fill-in responses.

Qualtrics is so cool there are even options within the options! For example, within a multiple choice question, you can choose the number of choices, whether the answer is a single answer or multiple, the position of the answers (horizontal vs. vertical), forced response to continue, etc… If you want to use the same format for all your questions, you can copy questions numerous times and also move them up and down and all around to switch the order.  Once you have created your question, you can preview it and decide if you like the format and look.

Question in the creation/editing phase…

Question in the preview phase…

For more help, see the Qualtrics About Question Editing Tutorial

Survey Flow
Survey Flow is useful for creating interactive surveys. For instance, if one of your questions is a yes/no option, with different follow up options if the participant answers yes or no, you are able to guide the survey questions according to the responses. This is called branching. Furthermore, you can have your survey conjoin, or come back to a single point after you have added all the loops and branches your heart desires. Another important tool located in survey flow is the randomizer, this allows you to randomize questions in your blocks, and you can hand pick which questions you want randomized and the order you want the randomized and non-randomized questions to follow.  Survey flow is one of the interactive properties of qualtrics that makes it more useful than a paper and pencil survey, since you can create a variety of options behind-the-scenes.
For more help, see the  Qualtrics About Question Options tutorial.

Advanced Questions
You can add Java Script into your survey questions. When you click to create a new item (a new question) a new box will appear with a blank question format. You can pick whichever kind of question you want (the options were discussed above) and then if you look on the left side of the question box the question is numbered (eg Q1) and then there is a purple settings tab under it. If you click on the purple settings tab, you have a variety of options including; add display logic, carry forward choices, carry forward labels, add skip logic, add JavaScript, and add default choices, as well as randomization and answer randomization options.

Once you have made your survey exactly as you want it to be, with the right variety of questions, instructions, and a specific flow, you are able to launch your survey and make it active.

Making your survey active means means it is now out there on the web or able to be e-mailed to those you want to participate, however it does not mean that you cannot make changes. To do this, click the “Launch” tab on the top right of the menu bar.

There are various settings for how you let others view your survey. Changing these options is located in the “Edit Survey” tab under “Survey Options.” You can change Survey Experience under this tab as well, which will change the option of a forward/back button, language, title, and description.

Survey protection allows you to tailor who can access your survey and how. Open access means anyone can view your survey by following the link, however you can also add a password (of your choosing) to protect your survey, so only those with the password can continue to the survey.  You can also opt for an e-mail only option, allowing you to email your specific participants. This process is on the “Distribute Survey” tab on the top of your Qualtrics menu bar. In the distribute survey there are also many other buttons and options to play with, including email history, social media, in-page pop-up, website feedback, survey director.  A purple bar will also pop-up asking if you need respondents and directing you to a link to purchase responses, although it should be easy enough to distribute your survey without spending money.

For more help, see the  Qualtrics Activate a Survey tutorial.
For more help, see the Qualtrics Email Customized Links tutorial.

Data Collection
Once people have taken your survey, Qualtrics automatically organizes each participant’s response in a table. This is found under the “View Results” tab. You can click and see each participant’s response to each question. However, once you have collected data from a wider subject pool, you can also view the reports and download the raw data, or even export the data report to Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Powerpoint, or Adobe Acrobat. If you download the data, your options are excel (.csv format), SPSS, XML, or HTML. Qualtrics will even calculate some basic statistics for you.

For more help, see the Qualtrics About Viewing Reports tutorial.
For more help, see the Qualtrics About Responses tutorial.
For more help, see the Qualtrics Download Data Options tutorial.