Surveys

A survey is an excellent way to solicit feedback from users regarding any aspect of your course. For example, it can be used as a method of delivering general course evaluations, mid-semester reviews, or surveys associated with learning styles and preferences, etc.

The Survey tool can be accessed from the Assessments drop down menu in the course navbar.

Create a New Survey

image of creating a new survey

  • Select the Survey link from the Assessments drop down menu on the course navbar.
  • Click the New Survey button to create a new survey.

Survey Properties

The Properties tab displays by default when you create or edit a survey.

image of the properties tab of a new survey

  • Enter a Name for your survey.
  • If the give instant feedback box is checked, users will receive feedback immediately after answering a question.
  • Check the make results anonymous option to hide user data in survey results. The responses to survey questions are available to Instructors and users with TA Level 4 access but the system does not report who made what response.

Note: It is not possible to have anonymous surveys and restrict access to particular groups (e.g., lab or lecture sections).

  • Click on Add/Edit Questions to add questions to the survey.  

Note:  Return to the Add/Edit Questions link to make changes to existing questions.

  • If you want to add a message (optional), click Expand description/submission Messages and enter your message in the appropriate text field:
    • Description use as a summary description of the survey.
    • Submission Message a message users see after completing the survey.
  • Click on Expand page footer, if you wish to provide text in the Page Footer field that is shown to users at the end of the survey (optional).

Setting Availability 

image of the restrictions tab

  • Select the Restrictions tab and set Start and End Dates.
  • In order to have the start and end dates appear in the students' calendars, select Display in Calendar.
  • Set Attempts Allowed to Single attempt that is editable unless students can take the survey multiple times.

Note: By default, quizzes and surveys are set to inactive and must be set to active for the availability dates to be honoured. It is recommended that surveys are set to active upon completion of the survey details (questions etc).

  • Click Save and Close.

Special access

Use the Special Access feature to override the availability settings of a survey for specific individuals, or to restrict a survey only to identified users.

special access screenshot

  • Click on the Restrictions tab.
  • Click Add Users to Special Access in the Special Access section.

image of the special access section

  • If you want to make the survey available to selected users during a special time period, click Add Users to Special Access and enter a Start Date and/or End Date in the Special Access Properties section.
  • Select the check boxes beside the users you want to assign special access to.
  • Click Add Special Access.
  • On the Edit page, if you want to limit access to prevent other users from accessing the survey, select Allow only users with special access to see this survey.
  • Click Save and Close at the bottom of the page.

Note: For a more detailed explanation of release conditions, please go to Release Conditions.

Creating Survey Questions

There are two ways to enter questions into your survey:

  • You can add or edit questions while  creating/editing a survey by selecting the Properties tab and clicking Add/Edit Questions. 

image of the add/edit questions

  • Select the Question Library icon on the Manage Surveys page. The Surveys tool shares the Question Library and its content with the Quizzes tool.  If you do not have any questions in the Question Library, you can create new questions by selecting the New button and selecting the question type from the dropdown menu.

image of the Question library

Survey Question Types

All Quizzes question types are available in the Survey tool along with Likert question types, which are used exclusively in Surveys.  See Quizzes for a more detailed description of question types.

Likert questions

The Likert Question is unique to the Survey tool. Use Likert questions to choose one of seven scales for users to use for providing feedback.

  • Give your question an identifiable title.
  • Enter instructions into the Introductory Text box. Example: Please rate your experience of each aspect of the course as listed below where 1 represents the lowest rating (i.e., Very Poor) and 5 represents the highest rating (i.e., Excellent).
  • If you want to use an image in the question, click Add a File and select an image to include.
  • Choose one of the following scales:
    • One to Five (1 to 5)
    • One to Eight (1 to 8)
    • Agreement Scale (Disagree–Agree)
    • Satisfaction Scale (Dissatisfied–Satisfied)
    • Frequency Scale (Never–Always)
    • Importance Scale (Unimportant–Important)
    • Opposition Scale (Oppose–Support)
  • Select Include an N/A option if you want to allow respondents to answer 'N/A' (not applicable) for this question.
  • In the Questions section, enter each item that you want to be rated. You must have at least one item to be rated. More question boxes can be added by clicking Add Item or excess boxes deleted by clicking Remove.
  • Provide feedback to the question that is displayed to the user, if applicable.

Import survey questions from a text file

Survey questions can be created offline using Learning Environment's Text Format File. Follow the steps below to access a template for creating the text file as well as importing a csv file:

  • On the Manage Surveys page, click the Question Library or open a survey and choose the Properties tab and Add/Edit Questions.
  • Click Import.
  • Choose "From a Desire2Learn Text Format File" from the Import Source drop-down list. (Select CSV Sample File to get a copy of the required formatting, if necessary).
  • To upload a question file you have completed, click Choose File and select the file you want upload to the question library.
  • Click Open.
  • Click Save.

Setting Survey Layout and Questions

The structure and layout of the survey is shown in the Properties tab:

  • Click the Add/Edit Questions button on the Properties tab to add or remove questions or sections to this survey.

Setting Survey Branching

If you have Multiple Choice or True/False questions in your survey it is possible to add branching. Branching is an optional feature that must be enabled for your course offering by site administration, please contact learnhelp@uwaterloo.ca for assistance with this.

  • From within a survey, click the Properties tab.
  • Click the Branching Wizard button (bottom left under the survey questions). The wizard displays a list of the questions in your survey and their corresponding types. Answers are shown for Multiple Choice and True/False questions. You can choose to skip questions or terminate the survey based on the answer to a Multiple Choice or True/False question.
  • Choose the answers that you want to create a branch from and fill in appropriate branching information.
  • Click Save.

Note: When branching is used, survey questions are presented one at a time, each on a separate page (i.e. page breaks are inserted between every question).

Marking Questions in a Survey as Mandatory

If you mark a question Mandatory, respondents cannot submit the survey until they have answered the question.

  • On the Properties tab, click the Edit Values button.

edit values screenshot

  • A check box will appear beside each question.

mandatory question screenshot

  • Select the Mandatory check box beside the questions you want to force respondents to answer.
  • Click Save.

Notes: Mandatory questions cannot be used in conjunction with the Prevent Moving Backwards setting; mandatory questions cannot be used with branching.

Preventing Moving Backwards in a Survey

You can prevent respondents from returning to previous pages as they complete a survey, so that they can only move forward until they reach the end of the survey.

prevent moving screenshot

  • On the Properties tab, select the Prevent moving backwards through pages check box under the Survey Questions section.
  • Click Save.

Reordering Surveys

image of the more actions menu

  • From the Manage Surveys page, select the drop down menu next to the More Actions button and choose Reorder.
  • Select a survey name and click the up or down arrows to move the survey to the desired list position.
  • Repeat the previous step for each survey name until you have achieved the desired order.
  • Click Save.

Previewing a Survey

image of the edit survey menu

  • From the Manage Surveys page, select the drop down arrow beside the desired survey and select Preview. You are shown the survey questions as users would see them. It is always a good idea to preview a survey before releasing it to users.
  • Click the Exit Preview button to return to the Manage Surveys page.

Note: When previewing a survey, you are not shown any introduction message that you have set up. If you answer and save the questions you will not return any results.

Creating Reports for Surveys

You can create survey reports that can be customized and released to specific roles. You can create multiple survey reports.

  • Click on the desired survey, click the Reports Setup tab.
  • Click the Add Report button.
  • Enter a Report Name.

image of the reports tab

Choose one of the following Report Types:

image of the report set-up page

  • Summary Report options:
    • Show aggregate data: displays the data collected for multiple choice questions, true and false, Likert, multi-select, and matching question types.
    • Show text responses: displays the data collected for long answers, short answers and fill-in-the-blanks question types.
    • Show signed comments: displays responses (with data) for any long answer questions in the survey with the Show signed comments property turned on where the user has given permission to release their name with their response.
    • Show unsigned comments: displays responses (with data) for any long answer questions in the survey with the Show signed comments property turned on where the user has not given permission to release their name with their response.
  • Individual Attempts options:
    • Hide user information: will not display the user's first and last name when the Individual Attempts report is viewed.
  • Set your Release options. Here you can set up the when and to whom this survey report  is released.
    • Select Immediately or select a date from the drop down lists or calendar icon.
    • Check the roles for your desired recipients.
  • Click Save.

Viewing Survey Results

  • From the Manage Surveys page (available by selecting Surveys from the Assessments drop down menu), click the Statistics from the drop down menu associated with the desired survey. 
  • Based on how you have set up the survey properties, you might see a list of all users or just the overall survey results (if anonymous).
  • Click on an individual attempt or the Overall Survey Results icon (at the bottom of the page).
  • Click Survey List to return to the main survey page.

Viewing Survey Reports

  • From the Manage Surveys page and select Reports from the drop down menu of the desired survey.
  • To view a report, click on the report name (you must have already created one or more survey reports; see Creating Reports for Surveys for details).  If you don't see the report, confirm that it was made available to your role.
  • Check the From or To fields and enter the appropriate dates if you want to restrict your report to a certain time frame.
  • Click Generate HTML Report to view the report in your browser, or Generate csv Report to save the report as a csv file on your computer.

Deleting Surveys

image of the more actions menu selected

  • From the Manage Surveys page (available by selecting Surveys from the Assessments drop down menu), select Delete from the More Actions drop down list.
  • Check the survey(s) to be deleted. Select the Delete button.
  • You will be asked to confirm the deletion.