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Surveying at JMU

We have great news! Qualtrics is the new survey tool for JMU. Qualtrics is an exceptional tool and we think you will be pleased with the ease of use and additional functions. We did not wish to change JMU’s survey tool, but the purchase of WebSurveyor by Vovici and the resulting loss of our academic license necessitated that we examine other options. The procurement process was concluded April 10, 2008. We believe you will be delighted with Qualtrics.

Getting Ready for Qualtrics

Migrating your surveys and data from WebSurveyor

Below we have outlined for you the steps that are planned to facilitate your migration to Qualtrics. It is critical that all users be aware of these changes as the WebSurveyor application will cease to work on June 15, 2008. After that point no data can be restored from WebSurveyor.


Saving the existing data

Please complete the following steps by June 15, 2008 WebSurveyor (WS) users will need to:

  1. Save the WebSurveyor survey instrument and/or report into Word. Instructions.
  2. Download response data from WS into Excel or a .csv file. Instructions. Verify that you can read the data.
  3. Delete inactive surveys. Instructions.
  4. Complete the wrap-up survey (

Training information

Qualtrics training will be offered according to the following priorities:

  1. Users with an active survey or need to launch one over the summer will receive training in May/June.
  2. Current WS users can begin Qualtrics training this summer and fall.
  3. New users, those who do not have a WS account, will have access to Qualtrics training beginning in the fall.


For those who want to know more...

Data Migration:

We want to ensure that all users who need to maintain data collected from surveys using WebSurveyor can export their data into a useable format. You should find attached a detailed description of how you can export your data from WebSurveyor to a CSV file that can be imported into SPSS or other statistical software. We will explore the possibility of migrating existing data into new surveys you create using Qualtrics, but we are not certain this is going to be possible. Unfortunately, all surveys created in WebSurveyor will have to be recreated in Qualtrics. We know that some users may wish additional assistance in exporting their data, so we plan to offer, with the assistance of CIT, work sessions on data migration. In these work sessions you will receive personal assistance in exporting your data from WebSurveyor to CSV files. It is critically important that all individuals who have data that need to be exported be notified of these changes. You may have colleagues who are on sabbatical or out of the country and who might not receive this email. If you are in contact with JMU colleagues who use WebSurveyor who are on sabbatical or away from campus, we would appreciate it if you could let them know about these changes.  We will also contact department heads to ensure that faculty who are unable to receive email are notified about these changes.

Again, we want to ensure that all current users are aware of these changes and that we understand any special needs that may exist. Please take a few minutes to complete the following survey so that we know you received this email and that we are aware of any special needs you may have. The survey was created in Qualtrics:

[link to survey]

Training of existing users

Obviously you are concerned about learning the new software tool so that you can migrate your surveys to Qualtrics. We are working closely with IT and CIT to provide several training options that can facilitate your migration. We expect to explain these options in a few weeks after we have had time to learn the software ourselves and receive training from Qualtrics.

Training of new users

At this time it is of primary importance to focus on migrating existing users to Qualtrics. We may not be able to offer training for new users until September. We think this is the best option right now as we need to understand well how Qualtrics works and how we can administer the program.

Additional features

There are many additional features in the new software that we wish to explore and offer training to existing and new users. Details about training opportunities will follow later this summer.

Additional Information

You are invited to visit the Qualtrics website at: (Do not sign up for accounts via the Qualtrics web site)

Business processes

Over the last few years the university community came to realize the advantages of having an advanced survey tool. The use of WebSurveyor grew from a handful of people to more than 400 trained users. This does not include the students who were trained in survey methods in their classes. The need for web-based online survey software will result in Qualtrics becoming a university-wide used and supported application. There are business processes that need to be created to ensure that the new tool is used appropriately, that individuals receive appropriate training, and that new features are implemented wisely. To that extent a small group of individuals from OIR, IT, CARS, and the faculty will work closely to create business processes that will be good for the entire university community.

Resources for creating surveys and analyzing the data

This website will be expanded to include survey development resources, how to analyze the data, and much more. We look forward to continuing to work with you and others to facilitate the use of Qualtrics so that good data are collected, analyzed, and used to improve JMU and associated organizations and groups.

Finally, we wish to express our gratitude to the staff in Procurement, especially Leah Frank, who worked tirelessly to ensure that we were able to find a replacement tool in a timely manner.