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New Web-Based Survey Tool
Durham, N.C. - ViewsFlash is a Web-based software tool used for conducting surveys and creating polls online. Before this tool was available, a member of the Duke community wanting to develop an online survey was limited to using commercial Web sites that build surveys for a fee. With ViewsFlash, faculty, researchers, departments, and students can now create sophisticated online surveys at no cost.
"The system is really flexible and supports a broad range of options, from the creation of simple 'yes/no' polls to scheduled surveys with multiple choices, multiple pages and complex decision trees," said Kevin Witte with OIT's Office of Web Services (OWS), which provides ViewsFlash support. According to Witte, benefits of ViewsFlash include the ability to customize surveys to match the look and feel of existing websites, and view survey results within the Web-based user-interface; save them as a local text file; or e-mail them to the survey author for post-processing.
"We added the ability to protect individual surveys with Webauth, which allows survey authors to decide who should have access using their Duke NetID," he added.
The OWS staff has worked to help make ViewsFlash available throughout Duke and, along with staff from OIT's Academic Technology Services group, educate people on how to use it. Since its implementation in June, 2004, 1,292 surveys have been created by 220 different groups.
Duke senior and Krzyzewskiville Head Line Monitor Lauren Troyer recently used ViewsFlash to poll students about which basketball game they wanted to tent for. "I'm not at all fluent with computers, but ViewsFlash was easy to use once I got the hang of it," she said, adding that creating her survey took some time and searching at first, but was pretty straightforward. The hardest part about using ViewsFlash, she said, was making sure that her survey was going to run just right, deciding in the end to do a test trial just to be sure.
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