Here at Winona State we have invested significant time and energy in campus-wide assessment efforts for many years. Online surveys are the backbone of those efforts, and Qualtrics (www.qualtrics.com) is our tool of choice for conducting surveys. One strength of the system is the reporting tool set available, and one unobtrusive Qualtrics feature that we have found very useful in combination with that tool set is the ability to import survey responses from a text file straight into a Qualtrics survey. If that doesn’t sound tremendously helpful at first blush, just bear with me.
Imagine being the administrator of two different surveys, both delivered to university sophomores, one in fall, and one in spring. Responses to both surveys have been collected, and the surveys have closed. At that late stage, you realize that it would be very helpful to explore the correlations between a question on Survey A and several questions on Survey B. It would also be helpful to include the college affiliation (e.g., College of Business versus College of Liberal Arts) of the respondents in your reporting. In our office, we frequently find ourselves in similar situations. Obviously, there are many solutions to the problem, but Qualtrics provides a good one.
It is relatively straightforward in Qualtrics to approach the problem this way:
- create a survey, Survey C, that is a hybrid of Survey A and Survey B
- add an Embedded Data element (a Qualtrics term for extra information attached to a survey response) to hold the college affiliation of each respondent
- fill the new survey with selected answers from Survey A and Survey B
- include data from your student information system (SIS), such as the college of each respondent
- quickly put together charts, response statistics, and crosstab reports to analyze the hybrid data within Qualtrics.
I will follow this post with an example of how we’ve used this technique for quick, ad hoc reporting that brings together data from multiple surveys with SIS information using only duct tape and common household items. Stay tuned.