Personal tools
You are here: UW Oshkosh This Site How to Host a Survey Here
Document Actions

How to Host a Survey Here

by Plone Site Admin last modified 2009-05-06 13:21

Guidelines and procedure

Why Host Your Survey Here

  • There is no charge.
  • Survey results remain on campus, instead of being hosted on third party servers off campus where we have no control over access or security.
  • This survey module provides all basic functionality you would expect. It does not provide built in statistical analyses but it does allow you to export survey results to spreadsheet programs where you can perform your analyses.
  • If your survey requires logins because you need to track responses across multiple surveys, we can create custom login sets for your responder groups.
  • You can use SSL encryption to protect the privacy of all survey responses as they are transmitted over the internet.

When Not to Host Your Survey Here

If your survey must be filled out by students enrolled in a particular course (e.g., for credit or as a course requirement), you may be better off using D2L's quiz function, since D2L knows which students are enrolled in a particular course and can tell you which students have or have not responded.


If you'd like to host a survey on this site you must agree to the following:

  • The survey may not ask for personally identifiable information. Personally identifiable information includes but is not limited to student IDs, employee IDs, and Social Security Numbers.
  • You must submit your survey for review before it can become publicly visible.
  • You must adhere to FERPA regulations where student information is concerned.
  • The UW Oshkosh Institutional Review Board may have to approve your survey. Linda Freed (Director, Office of Grants & Faculty Development) is the person to contact for a determination of whether your survey requires IRB approval.

Please contact us if you would like more information about what kinds of survey questions are possible and appropriate, or if you'd like to host a survey.

Create a Survey

If you agree with the above guidelines, you have contacted Linda Freed, and if necessary have obtained IRB approval, here are the steps for creating a survey:

  • If you do not already have an account on this site, please contact us to have one created. This site does not use the standard campus email/D2L login accounts.
  • Once you have an account on this site, log in to the site, and click on the my folder link in the light blue bar. This takes you to your home folder.
  • In your home folder, you will see a light green bar that contains the add item link. Click on that and choose survey from the drop down list. This creates a survey, which is a container for survey questions you will shortly add to it.
  • Fill out the survey fields, including the survey title, text-only brief description, and other items. You should check the box to allow anonymous responses, unless you have arranged for us to create special logins to be used by responders to your survey. You may specify either an exit URL pointing to a web site and page of your choice (possibly containing a "thank you" message) or a one-line thank you message to be displayed to the user. Press the Next button to be taken to a page where you can add a lengthier description (complete with rich text formatting). Then press the Save button.
  • In the light green bar you will see the familiar add item link. If you click on it, however, you will see a new set of choices: sub survey, survey matrix, survey select question, and survey text question.
    • A sub survey acts as a sort of folder that lets you split a long survey into smaller sub surveys. Functionally a sub survey is no different from a survey.
    • A survey matrix lets you specify a set of questions that share a common response range of values: Yes/No, or Strongly Disagree/Disagree/No Opinion/Agree/Strongly Agree, for example.
    • A survey select question lets you specify a set of possible responses that can be selected from radio buttons, a selection box, or check boxes.
      • You may allow the responder to choose just one answer or many answers; the choices radio buttons and selection box let the responder choose only one of the answers you make available; the choices multiple selection box and check boxes let the responder choose one or more of the answers you make available.
      • The comment field lets the responder enter text (either a single line if you choose text field or multiple lines if you choose text area) related to the question you just posed. For example, if one of the answers you made available was Other, you might specify a comment field of type "text field" with the label "If you chose Other, please specify here".
    • A survey text question lets you ask for a free form written or typed response that can consist of a single line or paragraph form.
  • Once you have added questions to your survey, you can rearrange the order in which they appear.

Submit Your Survey for Review

When you are satisfied with the survey, make sure you are viewing the survey (as opposed to a sub survey or a survey question). In the light green bar you will see a state: private link. Click on it and choose submit. This will submit the survey for review. To accelerate the review process, you may want to send us an email to let us know about your survey. Once the survey has been approved, or published, it will become visible to the public and will be ready to accept responses.

Surveys will remain active for six months, after which the message "This survey has expired" will appear when someone tries to access it. If you need your survey to remain active for longer than six months, please indicate this when you contact us.. If you wish to reactivate your survey, you can set a new Effective Date and a new Expiry Date if you click on the survey's "properties" tab.

Publicize Your Survey

To publicize your survey, you must let your survey audience know its web site address. By default, your survey's web address will be something like Sometimes email programs may chop ("line wrap") long web addresses, which could cause your users problems if they click on a chopped web address. To create an equivalent short web address, go to, enter the long web address of your survey and you will be given an equivalent much shorter web address you can send out instead.

If you wish to have your survey highlighted on the main page of this site, please let us know before you begin publicizing your survey.

Ensure you are viewing your survey (and not a sub survey or a survey question); the light green "view" tab should be highlighted (as opposed to other light green bar tabs such as "contents", "edit", and "properties"). Click on your browser's address bar, where it says Select all of the address in the address bar and copy it to your clipboard (on Windows, Control-A selects all of the text in the address bar, and Control-C copies it to your clipboard; on Mac OS, Command-A selects all the text in the address bar, and Command-C copies it to your clipboard).

If you plan to send an email to your survey audience, you would then paste this web address into the body of the email (Control-V on Windows, Command-V on Mac OS).

Similarly, if you plan to send a physical mailing out, you would paste this web address into the text of the letter to be printed.

View Survey Results

The survey module automatically tabulates results as responses are submitted. You can view bar graphs of non-text responses, and you can view a web page showing all responses (including answers to text questions). You can also export results to files in comma separated value format, which spreadsheet programs are able to import. To perform statistical analyses, filtering, and sorting of results you must use this export feature and import the data into a spreadsheet program.

To view your survey results:

  • Log into the site.
  • Click on the light blue "my folder" link.
    • [Please note your survey may not be located in your folder if you had requested that it be moved elsewhere (e.g. to a location not connected with your username). In that case, please look in your email messages for the new location of your survey, or click on your name in the light blue bar of the site to see all the content you have created on this site, including surveys. If your survey is not shown on that page, click on the "All content created by..." link at the bottom of that page.]
  • Click on the survey for which you want to view results.
  • Click on the "results" tab in the light green bar.