Technology Support and Services

Survey Tools for Dissertations and Research

Survey Service Options

There are numerous online survey tools available.  Below are a few of the most popular tools and some of the advantages of each.  Prices vary from free to $5,000/year depending on the complexity of the survey and the number of survey participants. 

Qualtrics (

Qualtrics is a very complex and robust survey system that includes a range of question options and a variety of data analysis tools.  It is appropriate for sophisticated surveys that require special types of input, when researchers need to allow survey takers to save their work and return later, or if survey questions need to be integrated with other data sets.  It is also appropriate for large distributions of 10,000 participants or greater. 

SurveyGizmo (

Survey Gizmo has similar capabilities to Qualtrics but isn't quite as easy to use. However, they do offer powerful and easy survey solutions. Even with the free service you can  create professional surveys that will allow you to complete your research goals. 

SurveyMonkey (

SurveyMonkey, can handle the majority of surveys and is recommended for most dissertation-related research projects. You'll only need the relatively advanced capabilities of Qualtrics and Survey Gizmo if you need to do complicated skips/branching or need to merge data from other sources into your survey questions.

Google Forms (

Temple faculty, students, and staff have access to create a Google form through your Temple Google account.  Google Forms can emulate the look and feel of a standard survey.  While Google Forms does not include any tools to automate data analysis, you can track and monitor responses.  For more, see How to Create an Online Survey for Free Using Google Docs.

Issues/Options to Consider

When selecting a Survey Tool, you might want to consider the following:

Do you need/require HIPAA/FERPA compliance? 

If you are collecting data that includes medical information or academic history (test scores, grades, student transcripts), you will need to insure your survey service meets HIPAA and/or FERPA requirements for protecting and securing data. 

Does your survey support accessibility?

If your survey audience may include users with disabilities, you'll want to insure your survey can be rendered using assistive technology like screen readers, text-to-speech tools, or screen magnifiers and can be navigated using keyboard-only navigation.  An accessible survey may also produce better results on mobile devices and tablets as well. 

Does your survey support mobile devices?

Depending on the complexity of the survey and your target audience, you may also want to insure your survey will work on mobile devices like cell phones and tablets. 

Evaluating and Comparing Survey Tools

Most survey tools offer a free or trial version to test out their service.  Free versions of online survey tools are usually limited in the number of surveys/questions and the number of responses.  Upgrading to a paid version will typically provide more access to data reporting, advanced statistical analysis, and more customization options.

Some sites that review/compare survey tools, include:

Survey Pricing Options for Student Researchers and Sponsored Research

The College of Education at Temple does not provide free survey tools for students conducting academic projects or graduate research.  However, many of the tools listed above provide free or low-cost plans that meet the needs of student researchers.  SurveyMonkey also provides academic discounts

Sponsored research projects may request a subsidized Qualtrics license from our available lab-user pack.  Cost for the 2015-2016 academic year was $500/seat/year.   A PI may request a user license be assigned to him/her by submitting a TUhelp Request and including the grant or start-up FOAPAL to be charged.  A single Qualtrics user seat may be shared among research assistants working on the same project, provided all have IRB approval to access the data.