Tips for Using Qualtrics

WPI has a university-wide Qualtrics account!

Visit and log in with your WPI credentials to get started. If this is your first time using Qualtrics, select the “I do not have an account” option to begin. If you’re trying to collaborate on a survey with someone who isn’t appearing in the Qualtrics collaborate list, be sure that they’ve logged in at least once as well!

Qualtrics features include:

  • Easy Survey Design
  • Integrated Graphics Options
  • Share Survey Editing Privileges with Team Members
  • Complex Branching Options
  • Capability to Personalize Emails and Survey Content to Subjects
  • Capability for Respondents to Stop/Resume Survey at later time
  • Export Raw Data to Excel, SPSS, XML or HTML
  • Cross Tabulate Between Questions or Surveys

Before your survey, think about:

    1. How will your survey be distributed?

      • Email invitations: Use Qualtrics Mailer.

        Use this distribution method if
        you have good email addresses for your survey participants.
        If the respondent doesn’t complete the survey on the first attempt, the link for the email will allow the respondent to begin where they left off.
        your survey participants regularly check your email.
        A respondent cannot complete the survey more than once.
        you would like to send reminder emails to those who have not completed your survey.
      • Open access without authentication. This allows you to create one URL for all respondents.
        Use this distribution method if…
        you do not have email addresses for survey respondents.
        Tracking who has responded to the survey, and who has not, is not possible.
        If you need to keep track of whose responses are whose, ask a name/ID number question.
        If users are answering a survey using this method, they may not be able to resume a survey if they close the browser midway.
        By default, IP Addresses are collected, and will be displayed upon data export (note that this can be disabled if needed)
      • Open access with authentication.
        Use this distribution method if…
        you do not have individual email addresses for respondents, but do have a way of issuing unique identifiers (e.g. ID number, email address) that can ensure only legitimate participants complete the survey.
        You can upload a list of valid entries for an identifier, then use the Survey Flow tool to add an “authenticator” question, which means the rest of the survey can only be accessed if that identifier can be found on the list. Once the value has been entered, it cannot be used again.


  1. Will your survey have multiple pages or all questions on one page?

    In order for responses to be saved, the respondent needs to click the button to proceed to the next screen. Therefore, if there are 20 questions on a page, and a respondent’s browser crashes when they are answering question number 19, the entire survey will have to be completed again. Therefore a good guideline is 1-3 questions per page.

  2. What tool(s) will you use to analyze your data and prepare your reports?

    There are built-in analysis tools in Qualtrics, but they are basic. Frequency distributions and cross tabulations are possible within the online tool. For more advanced analysis, you can download the data into a SPSS dataset or a comma separated value (.csv) file. Consider the exact analysis that you will need to perform before designing your survey.


Some Tips for Creating Your Survey:

  1. Include a Back Button so that users can navigate throughout your survey (in the survey options tool, check the appropriate box).
  2. Validation – Use the force response carefully. If respondents want to skip a survey question for any reason, the force response option is not desirable. Including a “don’t know/decline to answer” option can help mitigate this.
  3. Carry Forward – allows you to select response categories to be dependent on what the respondent did or didn’t select in a previous question, click on the survey question, then click on the purple box next to the question and select “Carry Forward Choices”.
  4. Piping Text – Piping allows you to use text from a previous question in a subsequent text. For example, if a respondent answered a question asking about their major with “Biomedical Engineering”, a subsequent question might ask “Why did you choose Biomedical Engineering?”. To pipe text into a question, click into the question text area. The box will turn yellow and a blue tab will appear above it that says “Rich Text Editor.” When you click this, a dialog box opens; click the Smart Text icon and follow the prompts.
  5. Logic – Logic allows you to direct respondents through a path of questions dependent on their answers. For example, if a gate question asks, “Have you borrowed equipment from the Academic Technology Center?” follow up questions about the nature of the equipment borrowed would only be relevant if the answer is “Yes”. When using skip logic, enter all of your questions first, and then you can use logic to create the path. Skip instructions will be processed in the order you place them. If you want to remove an item after adding logic, you will need to delete the logic first.Qualtrics uses two types of Logic:
    Display Logic – use for a single follow up question.
    Skip Logic – use for multiple follow up questions. Be sure to test all logic before deploying your survey!


Analyzing Your Survey:

You can view the ongoing results of a survey at anytime by clicking “Data & Analysis” within the survey. The results can be filtered and exported to a spreadsheet from the Data & Analysis area. Also be sure to check out the Reporting tab. This option allows you to generate a more detailed report, where you can add, manage and arrange content, and even share a link to the report results that will update as responses arrive.

Collaborating with other WPI Researchers:

You can share your survey with other members of the WPI community. The creator of survey can allow others to Edit, View Results, Activate/Deactivate, Copy and/or Distribute the survey. To enable Collaboration, click the drop-down options button next to the name of your survey and choose Collaborate.