Survey and Data Gathering Options

Tags Survey Data

This article covers various means of gathering survey or other information via email or the web that are available to Pacific students, faculty and staff and the best circumstances in which to use each one. Each has advantages and disadvantages.

  System Students can create surveys? FERPA OK?* HIPAA OK?* Ease of Use Who can submit information? Can authenticate respondent identities? Use Supported Primarily By  
  --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---  
  Qualtrics With assistance. Yes Yes Moderate Anyone No OIR  
  Moodle Yes Yes No Easy Students, Faculty & Staff Yes CETCI  
  Google Forms Yes Yes No Easy Anyone Yes UIS  
  DocuSign Yes Contact UIS No Moderate Anyone (after creating free account) Yes (by Email address or PUnet login) Office of Finance & Administration  
  Paycom No Yes No Hard Employees, student workers & job applicants Yes HR  
  Etrieve No Yes No Hard Anyone with PUnet ID, Gmail, Facebook or Microsoft account Yes UIS  
  Box File Uploads Yes Yes Yes** Moderate Anyone Yes UIS  
  Drupal Web Forms No No No Hard Anyone No University Advancement  
  NetCommunity & Marketplace No No No Hard Anyone No University Advancement/Business Office  
  Other Systems N/A No No N/A N/A No N/A  
  • Indicates whether or not it is acceptable to gather data protected by FERPA or HIPAA via these systems.

    **Only if the Box folder setup follows policy for PHI storage in Box.


Qualtrics is a secure online survey system that all Pacific University students, faculty and staff have access to. Faculty and staff can create, preview and distribute surveys. Students are able to create and preview surveys, but must contact the office of Office of Institutional Research and Assessment to make them distributable.

To use Qualtrics, go to and log on with your PUnet ID and password. If asked whether you have a Qualtrics account or not, choose the option that says that you do not yet have a Qualtrics account and enter all required information.

Qualtrics is considered secure enough to use to gather FERPA and HIPAA protected information.

Use of Qualtrics is supported by the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment.


Moodle is a learning management system that can be utilized by all Pacific University students, faculty and staff. Although the majority of courses in Moodle are based on academic courses, it is possible to create a course for use with a club, workshop, cohort, working group, etc.

Within a Moodle course, data can be gathered from participants in multiple ways, including discussion forums, assignments (which allow participants to upload a document file), quizzes (which can include multiple choice, true/false, short answer and essay questions, among others) and surveys. For most types of data gathering within a Moodle course, only the instructors of the course are able to see this data.

Although only Pacific University students, faculty and staff have access to Moodle, we also maintain a Community Moodle instance which any person can sign up for participation access.

For information on requesting a Moodle course, see Moodle Policies. Use of Moodle is supported by the Center for Educational Technology and Curricular Innovation.

Google Forms

The BoxerApps accounts for all Pacific University students, faculty and staff have access to the Google Forms tool. This tool allows anyone to create forms that can be distributed via web links, sent to a list of recipients or embedded into webpages. An optional setting allows the form to only be filled out by people with Pacific University accounts and will prompt users to log in with PUNet ID and password (which is then recorded), thus ensuring that respondents in the Pacific University community are who they say they are.

While Google Forms is considered secure enough to gather FERPA protected data (student educational records) it is not to be used for gathering HIPAA protected data (patient medical records).


DocuSign is an online system that specializes in creating fillable forms and gathering electronic signatures online. Forms can be distributed via email or web link. To sign a form, recipients must create free accounts or sign in via Pacific University single-sign on. DocuSign has workflow tools, whereby a form can be routed automatically through multiple individuals for filling out, signing and/or approving. The system does not have good tools for viewing aggregate response statistics, so is not useful for polls or surveys.

DocuSign is paid for and supported by the Vice President for Finance & Administration's Office, the Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences' Office and the Dean of the College of Business' Office. University employees who originate or handle forms that require signatures can get accounts, with the ability to send forms, at no cost. Department heads or office managers can be given the ability to create accounts for users within their areas. To get a DocuSign account, contact, or


Human Resources' information system should be used for gathering and routing information related to the recruiting, hiring and onboarding of new employees. Contact Human Resources for more information.


Etrieve is an enterprise comment management system (ECM) by SoftDocs. In addition to support for scanned paper files, it has features for online forms. Etrieve is currently being adopted as a project by the departments of Admissions, University Information Services and Finance & Administration. In addition to being high security, SoftDocs can integrate with other Pacific University data repositories and workflows. However, note that adoption of Etrieve by your department involves commitment for costs and thorough training. For more information, Contact the Helpdesk.

All departments that want to gather data for admissions purposes should work with the Admissions team who will manage data gathering utilizing secure methods such as Etrieve.

Box File Uploads

Box folders can be configured as drop-box folders, which people can submit files to, but cannot see the contents of. Pacific students, faculty and staff, as well as people from outside the university, can be given access to submit files to these folders. File submission can also be embedded in a webpage. For more information on Box, see our Box Introduction and Resources knowledgebase article.

Drupal Web Forms

The University Advancement Marketing and Communication Webteam can assist with creating forms to be embedded into the university website at These can include contact forms for offices, general inquiries (without personally identifiable information), and day-to-day business forms. No private information (HIPPA and FERPA protected) should be included. Contact for information.

NetCommunity & Marketplace

The NetCommunity system, maintained by University Advancement, is used for event registrations for alumni and donor focused events. The NetCommunity system interfaces with the university’s alumni and donor database. Contact University Advancement for more information.

The Marketplace system is the university's general e-commerce solution. It can be used for pair or free event registrations as well as for other sales. Contact the Business Office for more information.

Other Systems

Other survey and online form systems, such as SurveyMonkey, JotForms and Adobe Experience Manager are not supported by University Information Services and are not appropriate for gathering any protected information (such as financial, employee, academic or heath information), including information from prospective students or employees.

Data Gathering System By Data Type

Data Type Suggested System
Admissions Inquiries Etrieve
Surveys Qualtrics
Forms/Documents Requiring Signatures DocuSign
HR Data Paycom
Files Moodle or Box File Uploads
Departmental Contact or General Inquiries Drupal Web Forms
Data From Students in a Class Moodle
Event Registrations NetCommunity
Payments Marketplace

Data Gathering System By Person/Group Needing Data

Who Needs Data Suggested System
Student Google Forms
Event Sponsor NetCommunity
Instructor Moodle
Main Contact Person for Department Drupal Web Forms
Hiring Manager Paycom
All Other Faculty & Staff Qualtrics
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Article ID: 134211
Thu 7/8/21 8:58 AM
Fri 1/7/22 1:45 PM