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Clark University is happy to provide its community members with two different tools to create online surveys and forms: Qualtrics and Microsoft Forms.  


Qualtrics Research Core is a web-based survey tool approved for conducting research surveys at Clark University. With Qualtrics, users can create forms and complex research surveys to gather, organize and visualize data. This tool supports rich media and allows for adaptive and customized survey experiences using the following question types: multiple choice, constant sum, rank order, matrix table, drill down, text entry, file upload, slider, heat map, and gap analysis. 

Qualtrics has been reviewed by Information Technology Services and Institutional Review Board and it is in accordance with the Clark Appropriate Use and Data Security Policies.

Please note: research surveys require the approval of Clark’s IRB prior to launching a survey and contacting participants. 

This tool is best used for: 

  • Research surveys
  • Surveys requiring extensive data manipulation 
  • Projects with external parties such as alumni or vendors 

Microsoft Forms

Microsoft Forms is a web-based survey tool included within Clark Office 365 accounts. With this tool, users can create simple, flexible forms and surveys. Information is easily exported to Excel and responses can be reviewed in real time with automatically generated graphics. This tool has not yet been reviewed for research purposes, but it is ideal for internal projects or polls. Currently, Microsoft Forms supports the following question types: multiple choice, text entry, matrix table, rank order, rating 1-5, Net Promoter Score, and file upload

Please note: the file upload option will only be available to respondents within the Clark community. 

This tool is best used for: 

  • Registration or RSVP forms 
  • Informal quizzes 
  • Internal feedback and information gathering 
  • Surveys completed on mobile devices 

Frequently Asked Questions

The tool you use depends upon your project’s needs. Use the guiding questions below or contact the technology training specialist to determine which software is best suited for your survey.

  • Who is the audience for this survey?
  • What is the purpose of this survey?
  • What device will participates use to respond?
  • Am I comfortable building my own data report?
  • Is this form or survey time-sensitive or ongoing?

Clark University subscribes to Qualtrics support, which allows all members of the Clark community to get help from Qualtrics directly.

Qualtrics Support offers extensive videos, how-to guides, and survey best practices on their website (Qualtrics Support) and their YouTube Channel.  Additionally, you can log in to chat, email or talk to a representative over the phone.

  1. Click here to visit the Qualtrics Support portal
  2. Select the Sign in with SSO option
  3. Enter “clarku” for the organization-ID

Well designed surveys can minimize complexity for participants and other sources of error. The resources below provide more information about constructing effective survey questions and minimizing measurement error:

Survey Questions 101: Do You Make any of These 7 Question Writing Mistakes?

The 10 Commandments For Writing Outstanding Survey Questions

Keep up with theoretical and methodological advances with the journal: Public Opinion Quarterly

Both Qualtrics and Microsoft Forms are web-based. All you need is web browser and an internet connection. Though not a requirement, it is best practice to develop a survey instrument in a text editor before creating a web survey.

Clark University is committed to ensuring that all human subjects research is conducted in accordance with the basic ethical principles widely adopted by professional societies and as prescribed in federal regulations. The Institutional Review Board (IRB) and Office of Sponsored Programs and Research (OSPR) at Clark must approve of research methods through an application and review process prior to any contact with potential subjects. For more information, visit the Sponsored Programs and Research IRB website.

Qualtrics Survey software is vendor hosted web service. It is installed on a public web server and hosts surveys that are public facing. Data is stored in a secured database and can be accessed only by authorized Clark University domain users (eg. faculty staff and students). Qualtrics is role and permission based, therefore only a researcher, and specified designees, can access a survey and the associated response data. Through a combination of software controls and standard practice, safe guards are in place to protect the safety of the survey participants:

  • Qualtrics has the capacity to anonymize responses, this ensures that a participant’s IP address is not retained in the software database.
  • Details about the security, reliability, and availability of data in Qualtrics are summarized in the linked pages:
  • Survey controls exist to prevent cookies from being planted on a participant’s browser. This can minimize the possibility of a domestic partner, family member, or other computer user seeing a participant’s response.
  • Researchers using the system agree to follow a standard protocol established by the Clark University IRB to ensure the overall safety of survey participants.
  • As a IT industry standard practice, web servers have the capacity to — and do — log IP addresses of incoming internet traffic. All Clark Information Technology Staff operate under a confidentiality agreement. In addition, only IT staff with proper training have access to such logs. Finally, ITS staff do not make it a practice to view web server logs.
Contact Information

ITS Help Desk

Call or Email
Summer 2024 Hours
  • Monday-Friday: 8am – 5pm