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Online surveys  (formerly BOS)

Powerful, flexible online surveys

Launching your survey

Before you launch a survey, it’s important to make sure that it works properly. This means checking that, for example:

  • The text in the survey is easy to understand and free from mistakes.
  • The mandatory/optional/follow-on settings of questions are correct.
  • Your survey is accessible to those with disabilities.
  • If you are using survey access control, that the set-up works and has been clearly explained to respondents.
  • Data is captured in the form that you expect, and analysis of it produces useful output.
  • Your survey works with the technology that respondents are likely to use (for example, assistive technologies, mobile internet, less common browsers or IT systems).

The best way to check these things is to thoroughly pilot your survey. Simple surveys should at least be proofread and tested using the survey preview icon Survey preview.

Certain things cannot be edited once you have launched your survey.  Please ensure that you have checked your survey thoroughly before launching it.

Launching your survey

    1. Locate your draft survey on the Dashboard dashboard-icon and click on Distribute.
    2. Go to survey settings icon Distribution settings in the left-hand menu.
    3. Amend the following settings, as required.  Ensure you click Save if you make any changes:
      • Opening date: the date and time when the survey will open once it has been launched. Enter this in the format DD/MM/YYYY and HH:MM, or click on the calendar icon icn-calendar to select the required date.
        Note: Setting the opening time and date will not automatically launch the survey.  The survey will only be launched when you have clicked the “Launch survey” button in the survey_launchpad small Survey launchpad.
      • Closing date: the date and time after which respondents will no longer be able to submit their responses. This includes those who are part way through a survey at that moment, as well as anyone who opted to ‘Finish later’ but who did not return to complete their response before the closing date. You can re-open or extend the survey by changing the closing date at any time.
      • Public survey name: the name which will be publicly displayed at the top of each survey page.
      • Survey short name: a version of the name which will be used in survey’s public URL (web address). It must be no more than 64 characters long and cannot contain spaces.
      • Survey responses (optional):
        • Expected responses: this is for reporting purposes only and doesn’t limit the number of people who can participate in the survey. It acts as a benchmark against which the number of actual responses will be compared in the survey reports. You can amend this number at any time.
        • Maximum responses: here you can limit the number of responses your survey will receive. Your survey will automatically close as soon as the maximum number of responses has been reached. You can amend this number at any time.
      • Survey redirects: to automatically redirect early or late respondents to an external website, enter the URL of your website(s) into the relevant boxes.
      • Survey messages: here you can customise the messages displayed to respondents when they reach the login page of your survey (if using survey access control) or when they attempt to access your survey before or after your open and close dates.
        Note: If an early or late response redirect URL is provided, then by default the respondent will be taken to these URLs, and will not be shown pre-opening or post-closing messages.
      • Survey emails: here you can customise the text of survey invitation and reminder emails, if you will be using the inbuilt invitation email tool.
    4. Once you are happy with the settings, return to the launchpad icon Survey launchpad.
    5. Click the Launch Survey. You will be asked to confirm this action.
    6. Your survey can now be accessed using the Public URL.
      Note: Launching your survey does not automatically distribute your survey URL to your respondents.

Distributing your survey

Once your survey has been launched, you must distribute your survey URL to your respondents so that your respondents are aware that the survey is open and know how to access it.  You can: