Questionnaires, Choices, and Surveys! Oh, My!

Do you find yourself confused about which data-gathering tool to use in your CLE course? CLE users have a number of activities for data collection to choose from (4 in total!), and some may argue that there are too

The Learning Technologies Group (LTG) is often asked the question, “Should I use the Questionnaire or Survey?” or “I want to collect data from people not enrolled in my CLE course, which activity should I use?” A good start is to read the descriptions for the four CLE data-gathering tools listed below:

  1. Choice: Use this activity to ask a single question and offer a number of possible responses. Choice results may be published after students have answered, after a certain date, or not at all. Results may be published with student names or anonymously. The Choice is a non-graded activity. Example: Sign up for project teams.
  2. Feedback: Add the Feedback activity to your course to create a custom survey using a variety of question types including multiple choice, yes/no or text input. Feedback responses may be anonymous if desired, and results may be shown to all participants or instructors only. The Feedback activity may also be completed by guests not logged into the CLE. Example: Course evaluation.
  3. Questionnaire: A Questionnaire allows you to construct surveys using a variety of question types. Unlike the Feedback activity, Questionnaires can be graded and cannot be completed by guests not logged into the CLE. Example: Graded project evaluation
  4. Survey: The Survey provides a number of verified survey instruments that have been found useful in assessing and stimulating learning in online environments. The Survey activity comes pre-populated with questions. Faculty who wish to create their own survey should use the Feedback activity. Example: Research project.

Does this sound confusing or overwhelming? No need to worry – LTG is here to help! We have created a breakdown of the CLE data-gathering tools in the matrix provided below. The matrix includes descriptions for each activity, a summary of the functionality, support resources and examples. We also included Qualtrics in the matrix to compare the online survey software with the four CLE data-gathering tools. Read more about using Qualtrics from UCSF Information Technology.

Screen Shot 2014-03-05 at 12.53.14 PMClick here to view pdf with active hyperlinks.

If you still feel overwhelmed with the number of options for data gathering in the CLE, you may not have to wait long for a solution. With the upcoming release of Moodle 2.7 later this year, the Survey, Feedback and Questionnaire activities are scheduled to be consolidated into a new Survey 2 activity. Read more about the new activity and view the roadmap for development on

Are you currently using the Choice, Feedback, Questionnaire or Survey in your CLE course? If so, please leave a comment below to share your experience with data collection in the CLE.

In the meantime, please feel free to contact the Learning Technologies Group with any CLE-related questions!


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