Creating Online Surveys

Wheaton College faculty, students, and staff can request Qualtrics accounts to create their own online surveys and polls.  The accounts can be used to gather information for academic, extracurricular, and administrative purposes. The Office of Institutional Research & Assessment administers online survey accounts.

Eight Steps to Creating and Sending an Online Survey at Wheaton College

1. Create a Qualtrics account

Go to and click on Don’t have an account? Enter your email address in the Email field – ignore the Access Code field – and click the blue Sign me up button. Verify your account by following the instructions provided.

2.  Learn about the Qualtrics Survey Software

There is extensive instruction on the “Qualtrics University” website. Start by navigating through Support > Basic Building > Introduction .

3. Get approval from Wheaton College Institutional Review Board (IRB) and/or a faculty advisor.

4. Create a Timeline for your Survey Project

5.  Creating a Survey Instrument

  • Login to your account and click the Create Survey tab to start building you survey.
  • A good question is exclusive, exhaustive, clear, non-ambiguous, knowable.
  • Test your survey with several sample respondents.
  • View results to ensure your data from sample respondents address your research question(s).
  • Refine your questions if necessary.
  • Clear the data collected from your sample respondents from the QualtricsView Results tab. (Select All and Delete)

6. Complete this Checklist Before Seeking Final Approval to Distribute a Survey:

  • Wheaton College IRB has approved the project or deemed it exempt from review.
  • Student researchers:  Has your advisor approved your survey?
  • Can you confirm that you will receive no personal profit from this use of college license?
  • Survey questions have been tested and reviewed by potential participants.
  • Have you prepared the welcome messages, reminder emails, etc.?
  • Preview survey and ensure that all questions/items are working and displaying properly.

Once you have completed the checklist, submit the survey for approval by selecting “request approval” from the dropdown on your list of survey projects. The Office of Institutional Research and Assessment will aim to approve your survey within 1-2 business days.

7. Distribute the Survey and Gather Data

  • Write a brief message to appeal for time and attention. Include a deadline.
  • Put together an accurate  email distribution by contacting the appropriate office below
        • Student lists contact the Registrar
        • Faculty and Staff lists contact Human Resources
        • Alumni lists contact Advancement Operations
          If you are receiving information from alumni please share updated contact information with Advancement Operations so it can be updated in the College’s central database.
  • If an open survey link will be used decide which websites or social media might be best to reach your population.
  • Monitor responses, and use Qualtrics to send additional reminders to non-respondents.
  • Close the survey-A pre-determined expiration date is advised.

8. Analyze the Results

  • Create charts of results within Qualtrics, or
  • Download data for analysis with other software.

Email any questions to [email protected]