Tool Spotlight: Microsoft Forms and Qualtrics

You may be familiar with Qualtrics, an online survey and research tool. Qualtrics is incredibly powerful, especially for research intensive projects. Companies such as Volkswagen and MasterCard use it to determine detailed customer information and filter response data. 

However, Qualtrics is not the only tool available to the Clark community: all Clarkies also have access to Microsoft Forms, a simplified, online data collection software perfect for less intensive projects.  

What’s the difference between the two? 

Qualtrics is ideal for research projects, surveys with multiple parts, or surveys that take a long time to complete. It is also ideal for surveys in which you’d like greater control over grouping, reminding and tracking participants, and filtering or manipulating the results. Some, however, may find it complicated.  

Forms, on the other hand, is ideal for shorter projects, such as registration, RSVPs, informal quizzes, or quick feedback. They are especially great if you want to quickly restrict participants to Clark users. Surveys on Microsoft Forms is easy to complete and view on mobile devices, and many find it more user-friendly and quicker to set up. While the results in Forms are easy to understand, they are not easily filtered or manipulated. 

Which one should I use?

The best survey tool for your project depends on the nature of the survey or research you’re creating. Ask yourself the following questions to decide which would work best for your needs: 

  • Do I want this survey to be short or extensive?
  • How much metadata do I need or want?
    • Metadata is data about data – for example, the type of computer and browser used by someone completing the survey. Qualtrics gathers more metadata than Forms.
  • Do I need to create groups of participants and track their participation?
  • Am I comfortable with manipulating response data and creating my own results report?
  • Am I interested in qualitative or quantitative data?

How can I learn more about Forms? 

Staff and faculty can schedule an appointment with the technology training specialist if you’d like to learn more about Forms, or if you’d like assistance deciding which tool to use. ITS also has a curated playlist on LinkedIn Learning. Please be sure to activate your free LinkedIn Learning account first.  

Click here to view the LinkedIn Learning playlist on Microsoft Forms  

How can I learn more about Qualtrics? 

As a complex tool, Clark contracts with Qualtrics to provide support for all users. Qualtrics Support offers extensive videos, how-to guides, and survey best practices on their website (Qualtrics Support) and their YouTube Channel.  Additionally, you can receive personalized support from a Qualtrics expert by chat, email or over the phone. Click here to learn more about getting Qualtrics Support.