Eleven Years of Qualtrics
In 2006, the Odum Institute survey research group was experiencing an influx of graduate students looking for a software that would allow them to design and disseminate online surveys for their theses or dissertations. Such tools existed, but many required an expensive license and students sought an equally effective alternative without the prohibitive price tag.
After some research, Teresa Edwards, Odum’s assistant director for survey research, discovered Qualtrics. This powerful web-survey tool is browser-based, allowing researchers to access it from anywhere with an Internet connection. It allows users to build complex surveys and distribute them, as well as analyze the responses, all from one place.
Since Odum introduced Qualtrics to the university, its use has skyrocketed among students, staff, and faculty – there are currently more than 10,000 users at UNC. It is used by students for everything from class projects to honors theses to dissertations, and faculty across all disciplines use it in their own research. Qualtrics has even been approved by UNC for collection of sensitive data, including protected health information. It is also widely used to complete administrative tasks such as managing workshop registrations and evaluations.
Though Qualtrics is browser-based, there is an offline app available that allows researchers to collect data on a mobile device even when an Internet connection is unavailable. In addition, it can be linked to project websites and databases through the API.
Qualtrics is available free of charge to all UNC-Chapel Hill faculty, staff, and students for use with UNC projects. To learn more about Qualtrics, and to set up your own account, visit http://qualtrics.unc.edu.
The Odum Institute currently offers free Qualtrics consulting walk-in hours every week on a first-come, first-serve basis. New summer hours will be held on Mondays from 1 to 4pm and Thursdays from 10am to 1pm. Consultations are located in the Odum Institute suite on the 2nd floor of Davis Library, room 229G. You may also request assistance by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. More information is available on Odum’s Qualtrics page here.