Weblog on the Internet and public policy, journalism, virtual community, and more from David Brake, a Canadian academic, consultant and journalist
10 August 2004

WebSM (where SM stands for survey methods), ‘is dedicated to the methodological issues of Web surveys, but it also covers the broader area of interaction between modern technologies and survey data collection.’ It chiefly provides a collection of bibliographic references and some full text. Though the site itself is academic a fair amount of the papers are produced by and/or aimed at marketers. It has an index of survey software suppliers but this isn’t very handy as it doesn’t seem to include free software and is only organized by country.

Free commercial hosts for online surveys include my3q (don’t be put off by the Korean – it offers up to 5 questionnaires without question number or respondent number limits!), SurveyMonkey (their free service handles 10 questions and 100 responses), Zoomerang (free up to 30 questions, 100 responses but results stored for limited period). QuestionPro has a particularly good student offer – you can conduct one survey free of charge with unlimited questions and up to 5000 responses as long as you cite them publicly and link to their site from your project.

Castle is a suite of quiz software (adaptable presumably to other survey use) which is created for UK higher academics to use (free of charge) but appears to generate CGI scripts which must then be uploaded to your own server. GetFAST is similarly designed to help teachers get assessments from their students and allows for up to 20 questions but could also be adapted for more broad use I imagine.

I recall learning about a service run by a US university somewhere that was also free for academic use but I can’t remember where it is.

Later… While my3q is tempting I just realised that it doesn’t appear to let you download the results- you have to rely on their web stats which limits its usefulness. Advanced Survey at $25 a month (approx) looks pretty good but it isn’t clear if they support branching – for example, if my respondents answer yes to question 1 then don’t show them questions 2-4.

Zoomerang has a discount for educators for its full version I see ($99 for 3 months) and appears to do branching and allow downloading. QuestionPro allows branching and downloading of data but the non-academic free trial option only captures 25 respondents over a single month.


  1. This was very useful. I have been teaching survey design in the UK and Kosovo for a few months. Students get very engaged in the design of surveys and I’m always on the lookout for new tools.

    I have been using http://www.advancedsurvey.com as well as http://www.zoomerang.com and both have their advantages (advanced survey is cheap but the questions types are a bit limited).

    This next semester I am going to use Zoomerang extensively to set up surveys as part of an ecommerce course (for testing, casestudies and feedback). Is anyone else making extensive use of online surveys for teaching?

    Comment by jonathan briggs — 20 August 2004 @ 2:48 pm

  2. […] A while back I wrote about Questionpro as part of a posting about tools academics might find useful and (on my personal blog) as part of a roundup of online questionnaire tools. They do indeed have lots of features and a free academic trial but be warned – if you need to go back to the survey you used after the six month trial is over – even just to get at your existing data – you’ll have to pay. Not only that but you’ll have to give them your credit card details and agree to monthly payments (at least $15) which you will then have to remember to cancel when you’ve got what you need. […]

    Pingback by Media @ LSE Group Weblog » Blog Archive » A grumble about questionpro — 25 September 2006 @ 12:30 pm

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