Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Monday, October 19, 2009

New online survey tool now available to entire university

Qualtrics, a powerful online survey and experimentation tool, now is available for free to all university campuses and units.

Recent purchases of the tool by Information and Technology Services and the Medical School qualified the university for a two-year license. Faculty, staff and students may use Qualtrics for academic or administrative purposes.

The Stephen M. Ross School of Business has used Qualtrics since 2007 for course and program evaluations, administrative tasks, student surveys and research.

Qualtrics is user-friendly but can handle complex designs. Simple surveys can be produced in minutes. Complex studies, involving randomization and embedded and longitudinal data, are possible. Qualtrics offers features that similar survey engines do not. A survey sharing mechanism enables collaboration. “Libraries” can store commonly used surveys, such as course evaluations.

Since Qualtrics is offered for two years at no cost to individuals, units may realize cost savings by relinquishing licenses to other survey engines. The use of a common survey tool also encourages development of a support network.

Each major academic or administrative unit has a customized home site where members can self-enroll in Qualtrics. Most units have administrators to help users access accounts. University members interested in obtaining an account should go to www.itd.umich.edu/sw-info/survey/qualtrics.php to find the home address and administrator of their unit.

Qualtrics is restricted to university-related work. Conducting research or surveying students, club members or administrative units is acceptable. Using Qualtrics on behalf of outside, for-profit organizations is not.

Individuals should ensure their data collection complies with Institutional Review Board standards and the university’s policies regarding e-mail. Data are stored securely on servers maintained at Qualtrics. Individual accounts are password protected, and respondents’ data can be anonymous.

Qualtrics enables the creation of different user categories with varying account privileges. Student accounts may be inactivated yearly to prevent unauthorized use. Your unit may have different rules, so contact your administrator if you have any questions.

After the initial period of universitywide licensing, usage will be evaluated. Costs then may be covered centrally or distributed among participating units. Individuals desiring more information about Qualtrics can contact organizers of its campuswide release at qualtricsproject@umich.edu.

The Business Intelligence Community of Experts maintains an informational and training resource on Qualtrics at webservices.itcs.umich.edu/mediawiki/Business Intelligence/index.php/Qualtrics. Users also can join qualtricsusers@umich.edu.