Survey Support Tools and Resources
The tools and information on this website were developed to help individuals and units at VCU successfully administer surveys while better coordinating their efforts to improve the quality and quantity of responses, minimize duplication of effort, and optimize the use and sharing of results. Before administering a survey on campus, please review the Guiding Principles, VCU Survey Inventory, Survey Calendar, Survey Tools, and Survey Guidebook. If you plan to survey VCU students, faculty, staff, or alumni for administrative or research purposes, please complete the Survey Registration Form.
Guiding Principles for Administering Surveys at VCU
The following Guiding Principles have been developed by a VCU Survey Committee to guide administrative surveys at VCU:
- Surveys should have a clearly stated purpose which serves (1) an institutional strategic goal or initiative or (2) a clear functional assessment need
- Responses should be collected in a secure and consistent manner. Use of survey instruments should be limited to external vendors or tools approved by VCU Technology Services as meeting institutional requirements for security.
- Results should be (1) shared with relevant audiences and (2) appropriately stored in a accessible location (such as a centralized repository) to inform future assessment and institutional effectiveness reporting needs
- Surveys should not overtax university resources. To the extent possible, surveys should: be an appropriate length and administered at appropriate intervals, avoid unnecessary duplication of content or populations, and target and appropriate sample.
When planning surveys please review the VCU Survey Calendar to optimize response rates and to reduce survey fatigue. The VCU Survey Inventory provides detail information about surveys that are planned or administered.
A variety of approvals may be necessary before you can administer a survey on campus. It is the responsibility of the researcher/administrator to seek the necessary approvals, which may include:
- Unit level approvals: Depending on the nature of the survey, you may need the approval of the department chair, Dean, Vice Provost, Vice President, or President.
- IRB: VCU IRB provides oversight for activities meeting the criteria of "research involving human subjects." For more information, visit VCU's Office of Research.
- FERPA: When requesting a list of student names for a survey, contact the Records and Registration office to ensure the information you are requesting or sharing with a vendor complies with FERPA.
Surveys with sample sizes of 500 or more must be registered. Sample sizes under 500 are not required to be registered but you still have that option to do so. Registering your survey places it on the University's Survey Calendar and provides information that may be useful to other units conducting surveys on campus. Registration is not required for the following activities: course/faculty evaluations, class assignments, feedback from customers at the point-of-service, evaluations of events by participants, employee performance reviews, and employee exit surveys. (Note: Refer to Survey Tools for important information regarding the use of the approved tools and external vendors) Please click here to register a survey and click Survey Registration and VCU Calendar Instructions to get instructions on how to use the registration tool.
Please visit VCU Technology Services for more information about approved university survey tools. If your survey is being administered by an external vendor/consultant, please submit a Service Desk ticket with the vendor/sender allowlist information to notify Collaboration Services and assure email messages arrive in inboxes as expected.
The Survey Guidebook provides guidance for planning, designing, and administering assessment and institutional effectiveness surveys.
If you have questions about the content of this website or the process of registering a survey at VCU, please contact Planning and Institutional Effectiveness office in IRDS at email@example.com.
For assistance accessing information related to our programs, please contact the Office of Institutional Research and Decision Support at firstname.lastname@example.org.