Rebecca J. Romsdahl, Earth System Science & Policy
I have been a long-time user of SurveyMonkey. It has been a helpful tool for my research and also for gathering anonymous course feedback from students; I find it more helpful when I can ask course specific questions rather than just what the University collects in the end-of-semester USAT surveys. But, like many, I have found that the subscription cost of SurveyMonkey is now a burden I can no longer afford. Last semester I had heard that the University was considering purchasing a survey software program, but I was skeptical that any other program would be as useful and convenient as SurveyMonkey. But when I received the CILT flyer announcing a workshop titled “Stop Monkeying Around with Surveys and Check Out Qualtrics,” I realized I should at least see what it had to offer because it may soon be my only available option.
I have to admit that half-way through the workshop demonstration, I was converted. You can view the presentation for yourself on the CILT website here: http://und.edu/academics/cilt/qualtrics.cfm. Many UND people have been involved in ‘test-driving’ Qualtrics and they found it professional and so useful that UND was convinced to purchase a University-wide license; so anyone with a UND login/password can now utilize it. From the workshop presentation, the Qualtrics program appears to be user-friendly, especially if you are comfortable with SurveyMonkey. Qualtrics has many of the same features as SurveyMonkey, so don’t worry that you might lose some features. In fact, based on the one hour CILT workshop, I would say Qualtrics probably has more options available for tailoring a survey to meet specific interests; for example, I could embed a video clip (from YouTube or elsewhere) directly into a survey so that respondents watch it and then answer questions on the same page.
I was also impressed that students will be allowed to utilize Qualtrics as well, which could be developed into interesting research assignments; for example, it would allow faculty to help students learn how to design a survey for a class project. Plus, with the University wide license, I have the convenience I value, I will be able to continue gathering anonymous course feedback from students, and will not have to worry about out-of-pocket subscription fees. There is the additional bonus of CILT support and training workshops on campus, which you can sign up for here: http://und.edu/academics/cilt/workshops/workshops.cfm. Or you can just jump straight into exploring Qualtrics for yourself by using your UND login and password here: https://und.qualtrics.com. Despite having been comfortable as a user of SurveyMonkey, I see great potential in making this transition to Qualtrics; I would encourage others to take advantage of this program.