Have you ever found yourself needing data for a class project, blog post, or article and wanted an easy survey creator? Do you run a blog and want to poll your readership to ask for feedback? Unknown to most students, Tufts has access to a service that can do just that.

Qualtrics is a user-friendly and simple service where students and faculty can create, distribute, and analyze user data all in one place. Whether you want to make and send a survey for your psychology or political science course, or easily analyze poll data, Qualtrics is the place for you.

To access Qualtrics, simply login with your Tufts username and password at www.tufts.qualtrics.com. From there, your screen should look something like this:

There are a number of advantages that I have found from using Qualtrics compared to other survey generating websites. First, when you are generating directions and questions for your survey, all you have to do is change the pre-inserted text for the question and any possible answer choices. Other sites force you to heavily customize each question in separate windows, so seeing the final product and editing as you go is nearly impossible. Qualtrics has that feature built in with the ubiquitous “preview” option. Additionally, as with any program with sensitive data, the risk of losing data by accidentally clicking delete runs high. Thankfully, Qualtrics forces you to go through two different “are you sure you want to delete?” windows, one of which requires you to type the word “delete.” That way, your data is safe from deletion unless you truly want to get rid of it.

A Few Projects Where Students Might Use Qualtrics

1. To Send a Survey for Class

The usability and easily navigable interface of Qualtrics is perfect for class surveys.

2. To receive data for a large research project or thesis

No matter the extent of the project, from a short research paper to a senior honors thesis, Qualtrics can help you collect and analyze data.

3. To practice data analysis and statistics

Send a few test surveys to your friends and practice your analysis before sending real ones.

4. To poll the readership of a blog or other publication and receive qualitative feedback.

With the ability to monitor responses for each individual question, you can analyze more than just numerical data.

This is not to say that the program is flawless. For instance, I found that the data analysis portion of the tool seemed to have a confusing level of menus at first, though after a few minutes, they began to make more sense. Additionally, the number of export options and instant sorting capabilities make often time-consuming analysis a breeze. Not to mention, for those who need step-by-step instructions, useful help links are located at the top of any page to guide the process.

One major resource that anyone who wants to consistently make Qualtrics their survey tool of choice should access is the detailed tutorial videos on the Qualtrics University website. There you can get comprehensive guidelines for using all facets of the Qualtrics Research Suite. I particularly recommend the “Basic Training” video, which quickly allows users to make their own detailed surveys.

So there you have it, a highly useful and simple tool to create, distribute, and analyze your own surveys and polls that is already available for Tufts students and staff.  I hope you consider trying it out for your next big research paper or psych study.

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