Data is an integral part of university life. Surveys are one way to collect data from a large number of people.  Faculty can use surveys for research.  Administrators can use them to gather feedback about services.  Members of the student government can use them to collect information from their constituents.

At the University of Miami, there are two survey tools that you can use to collect data.

Google Forms

Google Forms is a lightweight survey tool that is a part of our Google Apps for Education license.  This video demonstrates the basic functions of Google Forms.  As you can see, the editor is very simple.  With Google Forms, you can quickly put together a collection questions of various types such as multiple choice, checkboxes, satisfaction scales, and open-ended text questions.  When you’re done, you can send send a link to the form to a group of people.  As they fill out the form and submit their responses, the data is placed into a Google Spreadsheet.

Where do I learn more: To learn more about Google Drive, visit the Google Drive Learning Center.

How do I get started: Log into your Google Docs account by going to 


If you are looking for a survey instrument with a lot more power than Google Forms, try Qualtrics.  It has many advanced question types and settings. For example, instead of asking which architectural style appeals to someone, you can present them with four pictures and have them select one.  You can add a time limit to questions, both to restrict how long someone has to choose as well as to gather information about how long their choices took.  You could present someone with five categories of government spending and have them indicate what percentage of a government’s spending should go toward which segment, but require that the total equals 100.

Where do I learn more: Qualtrics has a site called Qualtrics University that provides training on survey basics through advanced settings.

How do I get started: You can access Qualtrics by going to