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SelectSurvey is an online tool used to create surveys and forms at Fitchburg State. University staff can request an account to use the system by contacting the IT Help Desk.

SelectSurvey Getting Started Tutorial

The following tutorial details the basics of using SelectSurvey.


Go to the SelectSurvey login page.

Login screen with 'here' link circled

On the login page, enter the credentials given to you and click Submit. If you don't remember your password, click the If you forgot your password, please click here link.

Sign in page

Create Survey

After you login you will be brought to your SelectSurvey homepage, where you can create a new survey or work with an existing one. To create a new survey, click the Create Survey link in the left column or near the top right of the screen.

SelectSurvey homepage with 'Create Survey' link circled

Enter a title for the survey/form. If the survey will be recurring annually (or more frequently), you may want to include the year. The survey will be created from scratch by default but you can also copy from an existing survey. Click the Save button.

New Survey Options menu

Add Questions

To start adding questions, click the Insert button on the right hand side of the page. If you are working with an existing survey/form, you may first need to click the Design button next to the appropriate title on your SelectSurvey homepage.

'Modify Survey' screen with 'Insert' button circled

There are a variety of question types to choose from. The most common are as follows:

  • Open Ended - One Line, which is great for short responses such as a name, and Comments Box, which provides a larger response area.
  • Choice - Multiple Answers, One Answer, True/False and Yes/No.
  • Matrix - Questions are formatted in a grid style.

"Open Ended – One Line" question type

From the Item Type drop-down menu, select "Open Ended – One Line."

'Create New Item' menu with 'Open Ended - One Line' selected on the 'Item Type' drop-down menu

In the Question field, enter the text "Name." Under the Sub-text field, type "First & Last." The Sub-text field is optional but will give you an idea of how the question will display. You could also create separate questions for first and last names, which may be desired since you would then be able to sort the data by first or last name when analyzing the results.

Under Validation Options, check the box next to Required if the question is not optional. There are a few other validation options you can use as needed.

'first and last' entered as question subtext with 'Required' box checked

Once all the information is entered for the question, click the Save button at the bottom right of the screen. You will then be taken back to the Modify Survey page, where the new question will display.

To add another question, click one of the Insert buttons. If you choose the last insert button in the column (item 3 in the screenshot), the question will appear last. If you choose the top insert button (item 2), the question will appear above the one you just created.

1. Edit page properties; 2. Insert, edit, delete, copy, move, pipe; 3. insert, new pg.

'Vanilla', 'chocolate', 'strawberry', and 'coffee' entered as answers.

"Choice - One Answer (Option Buttons)" question type

From the Item Type drop-down menu, select "Choice - One Answer (Option Buttons)."

'Select answer group (optional)' drop-down menu on 'Answers' screen

Enter the question text. In this example, "What is your favorite ice cream flavor?" was entered.

You can make the question required under Validation Options. You can also choose if the possible answers the respondent can choose from are randomized in order whenever the survey is opened up. Finally, you are able to change if the answers are displayed vertically or horizontally using the dropdown box.

Under Answers, you can begin entering the options the respondent can choose from. In this example, "Vanilla," "Chocolate," "Strawberry," and "Coffee" were entered. If needed, click the Insert new answer button to add another field.

Checking off Allow additional answer will add another response with a textbox. This is normally used for an ‘Other’ type response, where the respondent needs to provide more detail.

You also have the option of choosing from a variety of pre-made answers.

'Open Ended - Comments Box' selected on 'Choose and Item Type' drop-down menu on 'Create New Item' page

"Open Ended – Comments Box" question type

From the Item Type drop-down menu, select "Open Ended - Comments Box."

'Additional Comments:' entered in 'Question' textbox

Enter the Question text. In this example, "Additional Comments" was entered. You have the option to enter sub-text. Choose whether or not the question should be required under Validation Options.

'Rows' and 'Columns' sections circled. 'White Paper;;', 'Gold Paper;;', and 'Green Paper;;' are entered into the 'Rows' box. '8.5 x 11 (500 ea.)', '3 x 5 (300 ea.)', and '18 x 24 (100 ea.)' are entered into the 'Columns' boxes.

"Matrix – Multiple Answers per Row (textboxes)" question type

From the Item Type drop-down menu, select "Matrix - Multiple Answers per Row (textboxes)."

A 3x3 grid with rows labeled 'White Paper', 'Gold Paper', and 'Green Paper' and columns labeled '8.5 x 11 (500 ea.)', '3 x 5 (300 ea.)', and '18 x 24 (100 ea.)'.

Matrix question types are a bit more complex but are helpful when you need to display items in rows and columns. Enter the question as you normally would. For Rows, enter the row names needed, followed by two semicolons. Press enter to add another row and continue this process for however many rows are required. In the Columns section, add the needed column titles. For each box you fill with text, another column will be added. Click the Save button when you are finished.

'Tutorial Survey' on the homepage with 'Open' and the 'Options' icon circled.

Respondent File Upload

To create a new Respondent File Upload question, select Database in the File Storage Location dropdown menu.

​The questions covered in this tutorial are by no means exhaustive but will help get you started.

Completion Messages/Email Results

Once a respondent has completed a survey, they will be brought to a page that, by default, thanks them for taking the survey. You can edit the survey completion message by clicking the Options button on the Survey homepage. You can also choose to have the survey results sent via email.

Select the Completion tab in the Options area.

The 'Completion' tab with the 'Completion Message', 'Send Responses To', and 'Respondent Email Body' areas circled.

The most important fields are Completion Message, Send Responses To and Email Respondent.

The Completion Message is what the respondent will see once they submit the survey. You can edit this to say whatever you wish or leave the default "Thank you for taking this survey!"

If you want the survey submissions to be sent via email, complete the Send Responses To field. This is most useful for long-term surveys or forms that are used for more sporadic requests. Multiple email addresses can be entered and must be separated by semi-colons.

If you wish for the respondent to be sent an email upon completion, select Yes in the Email Respondent dropdown menu. Please note that your survey will need a question that contains a valid email address in order to do this. You can then edit the text box to change the message sent to the respondent. If you want to personalize the message, you can use the tokens listed under Email Body. This can be a little tricky, so be sure to test thoroughly before deploying your survey!
Please note that the Respondent Email Body has two tabs: HTML and Text. You should edit both of these text boxes.

To remove the General Response Info from the top of the admin email response:

  1. Go to the survey Options and select the Completion tab.
  2. Make sure the #GENERAL_INFO# token is removed from the Respondent Email Body.
  3. In the Email Admin CC of Respondent Email in box below dropdown, select the last option: Send Below Email to all “Send Responses To” instead of Standard Responses.

Launch/Open Survey

Once you are done adding questions, you can launch the survey and make it ready for testing. Click the Launch button on the Modify Survey page.

'Launch' button circled on the 'Modify Survey' page.

The survey will now display as being open. Before you start sending the survey off to be taken, there are still a few things to look at. Click the Options button circled in red on the right to change a few more settings.

On the General tab of the Options page, check the End Date Time of the survey and be sure that it covers the full duration of the survey. If you are creating a more general form, you will want to set the date out a number of years so it does not unexpectedly close and cause confusion.

Test Survey/Clear Results

You now have a fully functional survey ready to be shared. However, it's always wise to test it out first. You can view the survey by clicking the Deploy Survey button on the Manage Survey homepage.

Copy the web address in the Email Link field and paste it in a web browser to view the survey. It's also a good idea to send the link to colleagues for testing.

When testing is complete, you will need to delete the test submissions before sharing the survey. Click the Clear button (X button) next to the survey title (be sure not to click the Delete/trashcan icon). Click OK in the Dialog box that pops up.

Deploy Survey - Share with Survey Group

Once a survey has responses, it will not be possible to make certain modifications. Be sure to follow the previous steps in the testing section!

After testing, the survey is ready to be deployed and shared with your survey group. You can use the Email Link found by clicking the Deploy Survey button (see the Test Survey section) to send the survey's web address by email or create a link on a web page.

Analyze Results

To analyze your survey results, click the Analyze button next to the appropriate title on the Manage Surveys homepage.

There are a number of options available in the Analyze area. The most commonly used are Results Overview Report and Individual Responses. Survey data can also be exported in a variety of formats. The most common format is CSV exports, which can be opened in Microsoft Excel.

The Results Overview Report is what you may want to use if you are looking for an aggregate of all data received.

If you click Individual Responses, you can look at each survey submission. This is also a useful report if your survey is being used as a form for individual requests.

Adding Other Users to the Survey

If you would like to give your colleagues access to the survey, click the Options button next to the appropriate title on the Manage Surveys homepage.

On the Options screen, select the General tab. In the Owners field, add the SelectSurvey username(s) of the individuals who need access. Be sure to use semi-colons and no spaces in the list of users!

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