Web Surveys for Learning and Research

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Web Surveys are closely aligned to the rich Student and Faculty research experience at Clark. In support of the university's mission and organizational goals, Clark is pleased to provide the survey tool, Qualtrics, for use at no cost by Clark faculty, staff, and students. With Qualtrics, users can create and distribute their own surveys and gather information. Qualtrics has been reviewed by Clark's Information Technology team and Institutional Review Board and approved for conducting surveys at Clark.

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  • Need more information? FAQ's are listed below.

    • What is Qualtrics?

      Qualtrics is a web-based survey tool and includes the following question types:

      Multiple Choice, Constant Sum, Rank Order, Matrix Table, Drill Down, Text Entry, File Upload, Slider, Heat Map, Gap Analysis and many more. Qualtrics supports rich media and can be used to design and publish adaptive and customized survey experiences. Qualtrics includes reporting which includes basic visualization.

      How do I design a good survey instrument?

      Well designed surveys can minimize complexity for participants and other sources of error. The resources below provide more information about constructing effective survey questions and minimizing measurement error.

      The 10 Commandments For Writing Outstanding Survey Questions

      Survey Questions 101: Do You Make any of These 7 Question Writing Mistakes?

      Basics of Survey and Question Design

      Keep up with theoretical and methodological advances with the journal Public Opinion Quarterly

      How do I publish a survey in Qualtrics?

      Although all Clark account holders have access to Qualtrics, appropriate user access must be acquired to publish a survey and view response data. If you do not currently administer surveys, review the "Get Started with Qualtrics" section above.

      Where can I find help documentation and get support?

      • Training demonstrations are available via Qualtrics University;
      • Videos are also available at the Qualtrics YouTube Channel;
      • You may contact Qualtrics directly:
        Email: support@qualtrics.com
        Phone: 800-340-9194

        Note: When you contact Qualtrics support, you may be asked: "Can I get your username and permission to log in to your account?" Qualtrics is not asking for your password, just for permission to use their administrative access to look at the account.

      How long will my survey and data live in Qualtrics?

      Your survey and associated data will remain available for the duration of your research. Surveys can be exported for prosperity or reuse in another Qualtrics environment. Data can be exported in both CSV and SPSS Native format for evaluation and statistical estimations. It is expected that when your research has concluded, surveys and data will be deactivated and deleted. Surveys that remain inactive for 90 days will be deactivated and deleted. Any surveys and associated data that remains after a student graduates or faculty / staff departs will be removed from Qualtrics when the account is disabled.(Typically 6 months after departure)

      What software do I need to use Qualtrics?

      Qualtrics is a web-based solution and uses forms for designing surveys. All you need is web browser and an internet connection. See the system requirements for full detail. Though not a requirement, it is best practice to develop a survey instrument in a text editor before creating a web survey in Qualtrics.

      What is the future of Checkbox?

      As of June 6 2014, Checkbox will no longer be available.

      • Active Checkbox surveys, those currently collecting data, can continue to run through June 6, 2014;
      • You may begin moving your data off Checkbox at any time, but it must be moved before June 6, 2014.

      If you have questions about the software and the changes or need assistance in your transition from Checkbox to Qualtrics, please contact:

      What is the Institutional Review Board (IRB)?

      Clark University has an IRB that is responsible for ensuring research conducted by faculty, staff, and students, protects the rights and welfare of human subjects. Your may be required to seek approval for your research prior to publishing a survey in Qualtrics. Visit the IRB web site for more information.

      Does your survey require IRB approval?

      Clark University is committed to ensure that all human subjects research is conducted in accordance with the basic ethical principles widely adopted by professional societies and as prescribed in federal regulations. The Institutional Review Board (IRB) and Office of Sponsored Programs and Research(OSPR) at Clark must approve of research methods through an application and review process prior to any contact with potential subjects. For more information, visit the Sponsored Programs and Research-IRB website.

      My grant sponsors want to know if Qualtrics is safe for my participants and secure for my data. What should I tell them?

      Qualtrics Survey software is vendor hosted web service. It is installed on a public webserver and hosts surveys that are public facing. Data is stored in a secured database and can be accessed only by authorized Clark University domain users (eg. faculty staff and students). Qualtrics is role and permission based, therefore only a researcher, and specified designees, can access a survey and the associated response data. Through a combination of software controls and standard practice, safe guards are in place to protect the safety of the survey participants:

      • Qualtrics has the capacity to anonymize responses, this ensures that a participant's IP address is not retained in the software database.
      • Details about the security reliability and availability of data in Qualtrics are summarized in the the linked document
      • Survey controls exist to prevent cookies from being planted on a participant's browser. This can minimize the possibility of a domestic partner, family member or other computer user seeing a participant's response.
      • Researchers using the system agree to follow a standard protocol established by the Clark University IRB to ensure the overall safety of survey participants.
      • As a IT industry standard practice, webservers have the capacity to, and do log IP addresses of incoming internet traffic. All Clark Information Technology Staff operate under a confidentiality agreement. In addition, only IT staff with proper training have access to such logs. Finally, ITS staff do not make it a practice to view web server logs.