Thursday, October 10, 2013

Quality Data Collection with Qualtrics

     I mentioned Qualtrics in my first blog post as the resource I used to to create an online Needs Assessment for school faculty & staff. Since then, I have been meaning to write a post on how to incorporate Qualtrics into your School Counseling Tool Box. So here we go!
    The Qualtrics website defines itself as "a web-based tool for building surveys". I was first introduced to Qualtrics during my time as a Graduate Research Assistant. The university had a license to use the program, so all students and faculty had the opportunity to utilize the resource. Making use of the "Qualtrics University" tutorials and support, it wasn't long before I was ready to build my first survey! (Although I'm about to give you a mini-lesson, I suggest you also take some time to complete "Qualtrics University").

Step One: Creating Your Qualtrics Account
As I previously mentioned, many colleges and universities have licenses with Qualtrics (see a brief list here), which allows their students and faculty to, literally, have the resource at their fingertips. If this student/faculty profile applies to you, be sure to look into this (likely found on your library's resource page) before creating a "free account". Now, if this does not apply to you, and you would just like to explore the benefits of Qualtrics, I would suggest creating a "free account", or logging in with Google. Although a free account does not give you access to all of the bells and whistles, it does allow you to have one active (ready to collect data) survey at a time, with up to 350 responses.

Step Two: Creating Your First Survey
Upon logging-in, you should be taken to a new screen, located on the tab titled My Surveys. Below the tab, select Create Survey. Next, you may explore the Survey Library to start from one of many existing templates, select Create From Copy to start from a survey you previously created, or select Quick Survey Builder to create a survey from scratch. For purposes of this post, we are going to use Quick Survey Builder. Note: If you choose to use a Qualtrics template, you must select Global Library after clicking on the Survey Library.

After selecting Quick Survey Builder, you will be prompted to name your survey. Now it's time to get begin creating your questions! On the new screen, click the green box that says Create New Item. This will create a box for Q1. On the right side of the screen, another green box will allow you to Change Item Type. Here, you can select from a variety of question types including multiple choice, text entry, rank order, and many more. Also on the right side of the screen, you can edit the amount of answer choices, and determine how many responses are allowed per question. Once you've made these changes, you can type your question and answer choices into the question box. Using the green plus signs that appear when your mouse hovers over the question, you can continue to add further questions above or below the one you just created. You may also select the red minus sign to delete the question. Be sure to explore all the question possibilities-you can even import an image into the question box!

Step Three: Launching Your Survey
Once you have added all of the questions that you would like to include in your survey, you are almost ready to make it active for public response! Remaining within the Edit Survey tab, you also have the ability to edit many other details (font, color, level of access, and even the message that people will see after they complete your survey).

When your survey is edited to your liking, you are ready to select the globe-shaped icon labeled Launch Survey. Next, you want to click Activate Your Survey to Collect Responses. You will then be given an anonymous link to your survey, which you can share via email, social media, etc. For example, here is the link to the Needs Assessment that I created this summer.

Step Four: Retrieving Data
Once you have activated your survey and your audience has begun to submit responses, you may want to begin viewing the data. For this you will need to return to the My Surveys tab and select Results next to the correct survey. Note: If you are ready to close your survey/prevent more data from coming in, un-check the green box that denotes that your survey is Active.

On the next screen, you will want to click Initial Report. This will transport you to the page which displays all of your data. Here, you can view statistical data, create subgroups and filters, and even download/export your data into another software program for further use.

Although I haven't even begun to scratch the surface of the survey possibilities available through Qualtrics, I hope that I have gotten your wheels turning in regards to this valuable resource! If you have specific questions, please don't hesitate to comment below, e-mail, or tweet me! I would love to help and/or hear what you think and discover! :)

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