Capture qualitative data with the free text question type

Multiple choice questions are great when you want survey participants to choose from among options you’ve selected. But sometimes, you need to capture free-form text answers from participants to gather qualitative data. A free text question type allows you to capture a few words, a sentence or two, a password, or even paragraphs of text from survey participants. Today, we’ll cover how to add and set up free text questions in your survey.

To get started, click on the big blue, Create a New button and select Survey:

You’ll want to give your survey a name, and select some survey options first, before you’re ready to start adding elements to your survey. To add any element, you can click and drag it to the survey creation area, or click on the element once to make it appear in the survey. New elements are always added to the bottom of your set of questions, though you can reorder them as you see fit.

Type in your free text question. Here, we want to capture some qualitative information on how the Beet Marketing Board can better serve its customers and so we’ve asked participants to describe how they think we can better serve their needs. You can check the include a note check box on the free text options, on the right hand side of the question editor to add some text to guide participants on the information that you’re looking for, or offer a bit of encouragement:

Other free text question options include making the question mandatory, meaning that the participant must answer the question to complete the survey. You can also change the the size of the text entry box. You can choose from among small, medium, or large textbox sizes. Additionally, you can select the type of free text field you’d like, be it single line, multi-line, or a password input.

Once you’ve got your question set up and you’ve selected your options, click on the Done button to save your work:

Here’s what a sample free text question looks like as part of a survey, with the include a note option set, and a large text input size. The Graphite survey style is shown here:

You can create learn more about Polldaddy, or sign up for a free account to create your own survey.

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