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Authentication, Authorization, and Prepopulation in Qualtrics

With the new university site license for Qualtrics, we can now use OSU single sign on to:

  • Authenticate survey respondents.
  • Restrict surveys to certain people.
  • Prepopulate common fields.

Why Authenticate a Survey?

Ease of Use

People get tired of entering name, email, major, and a number of other attributes. By using single sign on, you can eliminate this step as well as any opportunity for error in data entry.

Workflow Security

It is becoming common for staff to use surveys for business processes. For example, one office recently had a survey that was used to report outcomes. When processing responses, staff would deactivate the individual’s account within their system as it was no longer needed. However, without authentication, there is nothing to prevent respondent A from filling out the form for respondent B and tricking staff into deactivating B’s account.

Panels Security

It is not uncommon to upload a panel … 

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Understanding Directory Profiles

In the old days, every faculty and staff member had several different one page directory profiles on several different websites. These pages were largely manually maintained by different people and would frequently be out of date or disagree with central university systems. Because they were manually maintained, keeping them current was an expensive process.

To improve consistency and make updates as easy as possible, we now automate all standard personnel profiles using data from central systems. While all information in a profile can be overridden at the site level, this is generally discouraged.

Data Sources

To ensure consistency and accuracy across the university, we use data from systems of record whenever possible.

SourceExamplesWhere to Update

Human Resources

System of record for many employee facts.






HR Self-Service Portal

Research in View

The university's official tenure tracking system.







Presentations … 

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Hiring Student Help for your Website

For many of us, managing a website can be a challenge. It's hard to create content or to find or create good imagery. In addition, it can be technically difficult and let's face it, it's hard to find time.

Naturally, many people seek to hire extra help, often in the form of student labor. Here are a list of things to look for, and to avoid, when hiring students to work on your College of Engineering website. 

Hire Communicators (not Programmers)

First and foremost, you want someone that knows how to write effectively. Individuals with experience in communications, journalism, or marketing are great candidates. Knowing a little bit about graphic design or photography will also pay dividends.

It is best to avoid hiring computer science majors unless they also have other skills or you need them for unrelated technical work. When they hear they are going to be working on a website … 

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Surviving Event Registration

It's no secret that OSU is a large and complex place with many policies around outsourcing, security, and credit card processing. This can make managing paid and even unpaid event registrations a bit of a pain.

Let's start by reviewing the types of things we might look for in an event registration system.

Key Concerns & Comparison

Collecting Registration Information
Registration type, meal type, day/event options, group registrations, non-reg purchasers.

Accepting Payments
Credit cards, checks, payment orders.

Registration Management
Modify registrations, email attendees, print badges, reporting.

Setup costs, per transaction fees, ongoing labor.

OSU Policies & Technology
Approve for business use, FERPA data, single sign on.

 QualtricsRegOnlineEngineering Commerce Site



Constant Contact
Collecting registration informationAdvancedAdvancedPayer OnlyMinimalUnknown
Accept paymentsNoYesYesYesNot Allowed
Registrant managementNoYesNoYesYes
Initial setup cost
(including labor)
FreeLowHighFree … 
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