1)     Go to Surveys
2)    Click on for the survey that you want to work on.
3)    Click on for the page you want to work on (i.e.: demographics).
4)    Scroll down to the bottom of the page and find the button that reads “add page item”. To the left of this button is a drop-down menu that provides you with six choices for the type of item that you’d like to add. At this point you’ll need to decide the type of item that you would like to add to the survey. Aside from the text/HTML option (which doesn’t allow you to ask a question) each of the five options provides a different format for the participant to respond. The six options are outlined below and can be selected using the drop-down menu to the left of the “add page item” button.

  • Text/HTML: Use this for adding a header, instructions or graphics. This choice does not add a question to the survey, just words or images.
  • Textbox: Provides a space in which participants can type-in their response.
  • Textarea: Provides a larger “essay style” space for participants to type in their response.
  • Checkbox: Allows participant to select multiple responses (mark all that apply).
  • Radio: Use this for a multiple choice question. The response choices will be displayed on the page and the participant will select the response by clicking on the button next to their response choice.
  • Select: Use this for a multiple choice question. The difference from this and the above option has to do with the layout of the response choices. This option provides a drop-down box.
5)    In the drop down menu next to the add page item button, select the type of item that you would like to add and then click add page item.
6)    In the resulting page, you’ll see a text box next to the label Variable Name that will be filled with a default variable name such as “Q278”. You can keep this variable name if you choose, but it’s helpful to rename the variable to something that helps you identify the variable. For example, if you wanted to add an item asking participants what their year in school is, you might want to delete the default variable name and replace it with CLASS. Note that variable names must be in all capital letters or numbers, however you can use underscore.
7)    Next, in the space to the right of Prompt type in the text of the question (or header or instructions) as you would like the participant to see it. Following on our example above, you might type in “What is your year in school?”
8)    Click the Create Survey Item button. If you were adding a Text/HTML item (a header, graphic, or instructions only), then you’re finished adding the item.
9)    If you are adding a question you will now need to add the response choices. Do this by scrolling down and clicking the Add Scale Value button.
10)   On the resulting page you’ll see two text boxes, labeled “Name” and “Label”.
  • Name: Type in the system name (or variable name). This should be a short name that describes the response choice. This name must be in all caps or numbers, however you can use underscore. Following our example above, you might type in “FR” for Freshman.
  • Label: This is the response choice that the participant will see. Type in the full text of the response choice, ie: “Freshman”.
11)    Then click Create Scale Value Item to create the response choice.
12)   If your question has more than one response choice, then repeat step 10 for each response choice.

Other aspects to consider when creating a survey question.

A)    Display type. You can update the way the question appears on the page by changing the display type. You can do so when you add the page item, or you can go back in and edit the item. Once you get to the edit/add page, scroll down to display type. From the drop-down menu, select the layout that you would prefer, your choices are:

  • Vertical: Response options appear vertically below the question.
  • Horizontal: Response options appear horizontally to the right of the question, saving space.
  • Tabular: Response options appear horizontally to the right of the question in a table-like format. It’s helpful to use this option when adding a series of questions with the same response choices.
B)    Making the item required. Most items in the Finger Lakes template are required. To make the new question that you added required, go to the edit/add page and scroll all the way to the bottom. In the drop-down menu next to the Add Validator button, select “Required” and then click Add Validator. On the next page that appears, click the Add Validator button once again. If you want to remove the requirement, simply click delete.