University Surveys

University Surveys Overview

Western Illinois University's Center for Innovation in Teaching and Research (CITR) offers members of the campus community the opportunity to conduct online surveys, including faculty and student research, classroom activities, and program evaluation.  Please note that the time it takes to complete a survey request depends in part on the type of survey and the distribution method.

The Survey Process

The process, from beginning to end, of an online survey at Western Illinois University follows a sequential process:

  1. Design of the survey instrument and approvals
  2. Distribution of the survey
  3. Data gathering
  4. Survey close and results

Survey Features Available

CITR uses the Qualtrics survey software to construct and distribute surveys. Previews can be requested prior to the distribution of the survey, providing the opportunity to proofread the imported surveys and request changes.   Qualtrics also offers special features such as links to files that participants can download and the inclusion of graphics in survey questions.  Follow the above links for more information. To view the types of questions available in Qualtrics, visit the Design of the survey instrument and approvals page.


Survey Tips

  • Start with the end in mind. Your data analysis will only be as good as the data you are collecting. Start by identifying what you want to get out of the project and develop your survey questions accordingly.
  • Look for existing questionnaires intended to collect the same data you are interested in. Existing questionnaires may have better reliability and validity compared to those designed from scratch.  An existing questionnaire that is not a perfect match to what you are interested in may still provide you with a good starting point when designing your own questionnaire.  
  • Please keep in mind that, in some cases, use of an existing questionnaire may require payment, permission from the author(s), or some other kind of permission.  It is the responsibility of the person making the request to obtain approval in these cases.
  • Allow enough time to get all the necessary approvals and to preview the survey before distribution.
  • Some parts of the approval and design process can occur simultaneously. For example, you can proofread and request edits to the Qualtrics survey while waiting for approval for using Tele-STARS. 

Request a Survey

View a flowchart showing an overview of the request process here.

  • Download the survey request form and fill out as much as possible.
    • Refer to the survey request form instructions and information on the survey request steps page for help filling out the request.
    • Please fill out as much of the request form as possible. If you need to leave something blank note it in the "Additional notes / Instructions" section.
  • E-mail the completed request form and survey (Word document form) to  Include any additional documents and note those on the request form (see University survey request steps for more information).
  • If you want to use the Qualtrics e-mailer to send invited surveys, submit an e-mail list along with survey request.
  • Obtain WIU Institutional Review Board approval if necessary.
    • It is the responsibility of the person requesting the survey to communicate with the IRB compliance officer about whether their survey requires IRB approval.
    • If your survey does not require IRB approval check "IRB review not required" on the request form.
    • The survey design process can occur while waiting for IRB approval, though you may need to provide the IRB with a final draft of the survey before receiving approval.
    • Make sure to forward documentation of IRB approval to
    • Visit the Research Compliance Overview page for more information.
  • Check whether you need to pay a fee or obtain written approval to use the survey.
    • This generally applies only when all or part of your survey has been copied from another source (e.g. a published journal article).
    • If you are unsure about this, CITR can help you.  Contact for more information.

Note that you can work on many of these steps at the same time.  For example, you can submit the survey to CITR while waiting for an e-mail list from AIMS.

Contact Information

  • Survey Administrator:, (309) 298-2784
  • Compliance Specialist:, (309) 298-1191
  • Administrative Information Management Systems,, (309) 298-1944
  • Center for Innovation in Teaching and Research,, (309) 298-2434