USC Qualtrics

Qualtrics is a web-based survey system that USC subscribes to, so there is no cost for faculty, staff, or students to use it. Qualtrics features a rich set of tools to support simple to complex survey constructs, survey flows, and reporting. Viterbi IT provides introductory training and tutorials for Qualtrics. Below are some tutorials and help pages. Please contact us at the Viterbi Service Desk with additional questions or problems you encounter.

All USC faculty, staff, and students can log in using their USCNet ID and password through

Getting Started

Some things to consider before you begin your survey:

  • Creating Your Survey:
    • What questions do I need to ask in my survey?
    • Do I want to prevent double voting?
    • Do my responses need to be anonymous?
    • Does my survey need to be password protected?
    • Do I want survey participants to authenticate with USC Shibboleth SSO?
  • Survey Distribution:
    • Distribute the survey via a link in an email?
    • Do I want Qualtrics to send out the survey?
    • Do I want to receive an email notification when someone completes the survey?
    • Do I want multiple people to receive this notification?
  • Viewing Results:
    • Do I need to share my survey reports?
    • How should I share these reports?
      • By email?
      • Make them public?
      • Keep them private?

For your convenience we have crafted a survey settings summary table, as well as two common scenarios, which are detailed further in the next section.

Common Scenarios when Creating Voting Surveys

Summary Table

The button below links to our academic department survey settings summary table.

See the Summary Table Here

The Anonymous Survey

Desired Outcome: Each person will receive an email containing a personalized survey link. This survey link can be used only once, by the person who receives the email. Personal contact information is not connected to the respondent’s ballot, which means there is no way to trace the voter’s ballot to the voter’s identity.

Use Case: General faculty committee voting. This survey mode also supports proxy voting whereby a member of a decision-making body may delegate his or her voting power to a representative, to enable a vote in absence. To do so, the member can simply share his or her personalized link to the representative.

Drawbacks to Using this Approach:

  1. The ballot-designer/survey administrator is unable to know which links are associated with which individuals. Thus, individuals who misplace their ballots must be resent brand new ballots, creating a small risk that the individual could vote twice without being detected.
  2. Because each individual receives a personalized survey link, you are unable to place a link to the survey in a newsletter or blast email. You must rely on individuals to use the personalized link provided in the email.
Learn How to Create the Anonymous Survey Here

The Authenticated Survey

Desired Outcome: A universal survey link is created that allows you to distribute the link broadly across the university. An authentication procedure is created so that when individuals click the link, they are first prompted to enter some kind of authenticating information (e.g., USC Shibboleth login credentials or secret passcode). This authenticating information is not connected to the respondent’s ballot, which means there is no way to trace the voter’s ballot to the voter’s identity. Once the authenticated voter has submitted their vote, attempts to re-vote will be denied.

Use Case: On-demand voting during a meeting. A QR code for the universal link can be called up and displayed on the screen, members of a decision-making body may scan the QR code using their mobile device to go to the voting site.

Drawbacks to Using this Approach:

  1. Because the first page requires voters to enter user authenticating information, it makes salient the process of submitting personal data. Although this information is not connected to the ballot, it can make some voters feel uneasy.
  2. You must choose information that is unique to each voter, and information that voters will be able to easily access. For example: Employee ID only works if every voter knows their employee ID or has it handy. For on-demand voting in faculty meeting, USC Shibboleth SSO would be the preferred authentication mechanism.
Learn How to Create an Authenticated Survey Here

Qualtrics Documentation

If you would like to read the software manufacturer's documentation, please click the button below:

Visit Qualtrics' Documentation Here

Viterbi Service Desk

If you need further assistance you can create a support ticket by visiting the USC Viterbi Service Desk:

Visit USC Viterbi Service Desk Here

Published on November 15th, 2017

Last updated on August 1st, 2023