This document outlines some general best practices for creating effective surveys with Qualtrics.
Survey Best Practices
Implementation of an effective survey can be complex. Issues such as developing valid questions, identifying adequate sample sizes and implementing other best practices should all be taken into account as you develop your survey. To provide some basic assistance, we have put together some Best Practices.
However, you may wish to consult with other campus resources before, during and/or after your survey implementation. If so, we encourage you to read UW-Madison Qualtrics - Survey Resources.
There are some known accessibility and usability issues with certain Qualtrics question types. As you are designing your survey please keep in mind that these question types make it difficult or impossible for individuals with disabilities to participate in your research or respond to a web form. For more information regarding the barriers users may experience see Qualtrics - Accessibility & Usability Information KB .
The Qualtrics Survey Hosting Service will only be helpful if used carefully. Simply sending surveys to everyone will soon train people to delete every survey message they receive. Be discerning in your decision to survey campus stakeholders; do not simply send to everyone. Remember, you are one of dozens, if not hundreds, of people using this tool to collect information.
- Response rates to web surveys typically range from 30-60%.
- Select only classifications of students, faculty, staff or customers that are appropriate for the topic of study.
- Select the smallest sample size that meets your needs. The figure may be smaller than you think. There are different formulas for calculating sample size. Creative Research Systems provides a sample size calculator.
- Track which individuals have responded, and only send reminders to those who have not yet completed the survey.
- Be respectful of those who do not wish to participate. If someone requests to be removed from follow-up mailings, please remove them.
- As with any research conducted on campus, federal human subject regulations may apply. You should contact the UW Institutional Review Board and review any other relevant policies before implementing your survey.
- For assistance with sampling, weighting, instrument and question design, construction of data sets and other survey management needs, you can contact University of Wisconsin Survey Center or consult our other resources: UW-Madison Qualtrics - Survey Resources.