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Add Multiple Choice Questions

Service notice: Catalyst WebQ Survey has been retired effective June 16, 2022

WebQ allows you to easily create multiple choice questions for your surveys. You can create multiple choice questions that allow either one answer or multiple answers, and use different form objects (check boxes, drop-down menus, etc.) to display and select the answers.

About Multiple Choice Questions

A multiple choice question is any question that presents several answer choices from which the participant can select. WebQ allows you to create many types of multiple choice questions. The question type names identify how many answers can be selected, and the form object used to display and select the answers. Below is a list of the types of multiple choice questions you can create with WebQ. You can also view examples of all WebQ question types.

  • Multiple choice – one answer (button)
  • Multiple choice – one answer (menu)
  • Multiple choice – one answer (true/false)
  • Multiple choice – multiple answers (check)
  • Multiple choice – multiple answers (menubox)

Add a Multiple Choice Question to Your Survey

The first step is to select the type of multiple choice question you want to add to your survey, and then you can enter the question and answer content. Follow these steps to add a question to your survey:

  1. StepsActions
  2. From the Build Survey page, select a question type from the Add item drop-down menu.
  3. If you have already added a question to the survey, select the position at which you want to add the content, and then click Add. You will move to the Add Multiple Choice Question page.
  4. Enter or copy and paste the text of your question into the space provided. Click and drag to highlight text, and then use the toolbar to format the text as you would like it to appear on your published survey. You can also add section dividers (horizontal rules), insert images, and create links with the text editor. View detailed instructions for using the text editor.

Add Multiple Choice Answers

Follow the steps below to create answer choices for your multiple choice question:

  1. StepsActions
  2. If you are creating a “multiple choice – one answer (menu)” question, you can choose to display a prompt (a null option) as the first choice in the drop-down menu. Select Display “Select one” prompt, and then enter a label (such as “Please select”) in the space provided.

    Note: If you do not create a null option and also do not select a default answer, the first answer choice will become the default. In other words, the first answer choice in the menu will be submitted if participants do not respond to the question.

  3. Enter or paste the text of each answer into the space provided. To save time, you can also create answers with word processing software, and then copy and paste an entire list of answer choices.
  4. In the “Abbreviated answer” column, enter an abbreviation of the answer text or a code that you would like to be recorded in the results and displayed in reports instead of the full text of the answer choice.
  5. In the “Show as default” column, select which answer choice to display as pre-selected when participants view and take the survey. If you do not want any of the answer choices to be selected by default, select “None” in the “Show as default” column (at the bottom).

    Note: If you choose an answer to be the default, that answer will always be recorded in the results. In other words, you will not be able to tell if a participant selected the default answer or simply did not respond to the question.

  6. If you are creating a “multiple choice – one answer (button)” or a “multiple choice – multiple answers (check)” question, you can provide a space for participants to write-in an answer. Select Allow write-in option, and then enter a label for the write-in text box in the space provided (the default label is “Other:”).
  7. You can add additional answer choice spaces, delete answer choices, or rearrange your answer choices. Follow these steps:Add an answer choice: To add an additional answer choice, click New answer choice at the bottom of the answer panel. A new answer space will appear at the end of the existing answer choices (but above the write-in option).
    Delete an answer choice: To delete an answer choice space, click the remove Delete icon icon. Please note that empty answer spaces will appear on the published survey, so it is best to delete them if they are not used.Reorder answer choices: Click the up arrow Up arrow to move an answer up one space, or click the down arrow Down arrow to move an answer down one space.
  8. If you are creating a “multiple choice – one answer (true/false)” question, True and False are already populated in the answer fields. Select the correct answer, order and default view in the same way as other multiple choice question types.
  9. Click Preview to see your question as it will appear on the survey, or Cancel to discard your changes.
  10. When finished, click Save, to save and return to the Build survey page.

To save time, you can create the answers as a list, and then paste them into WebQ. You can create the list of answers using a word processing program and then paste the list into WebQ, or just type the list into WebQ.

To paste and insert an entire list of answer choices, follow these steps:

  1. StepsActions
  2. In a word processing program, create a list of your answer choices, with one answer per line. Click and drag to highlight the whole list of answer choices, and then copy them to the clipboard.
  3. Move back to your Web browser where you are working with WebQ. On the answer panel, “Add multiple choice answers” click the link that reads You can also paste a list of answer choices to open the paste tool.
  4. From the browser menu, select Edit > Paste, or use a keyboard shortcut to paste the list of answer choices into the space provided. Alternatively, you can type the list of answer choices directly into the paste tool, with one answer per line.
  5. Click Insert answers to create your answer choices. WebQ will insert the list into answer spaces, automatically adding or removing answer spaces if necessary. If you have already entered answers into the answer choice spaces, they will be overwritten by the pasted answer choices.

Choose Settings for Your Question

You can select to require a response for this question. Participants will not be able to submit the survey without providing a response for this question.

WebQ can shuffle, or rearrange, the answer choices in multiple choice questions. If you select Shuffle answer choices under step 3 “Choose settings (optional)”, the answer choices will be reordered for each participant. Results reports will still clearly indicate which answer each participant selected.