Form and Survey Tools

The university offers several form and survey tool options. Which one you choose depends on the data you are collecting, who you are sending the form to, if you need to add logic or advanced workflows (e.g., if you choose this option, then it goes to this person), and how you would like to view the results. The chart below is a high-level look at the tools offered at Elon. 

Form and Survey Tool Comparison

Features Adobe Sign Microsoft Forms Qualtrics eDocs Microsoft PowerApps/
Power Automate
Event Management
(i.e., doesn't require high technical skills)
Yes Yes Yes No No Yes
Supports Approvals & Notifications Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Notifications only
Supports Workflows No Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Supports If/Then Logic Yes
(but has limitations)
Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Data Destination PDF forms live in Adobe Sign
(eDocs integration available)
OneDrive, SharePoint,
or Teams
Qualtrics eDocs OneDrive, SharePoint,
or Teams
Event Mgt App Interface
Offers Signatures  Yes No No No No No
Form Data Can Be Exported to Excel Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Support Lite support; use vendor documentation Lite support; use vendor documentation Lite support; use vendor documentation Full support Full support (for solutions built by IT) Full support


Tool Overview

Consumer-Friendly Form/Survey Tools

Consumer-friendly form/survey tools are ones in which professional IT assistance isn't really needed for simple form/survey creation. These are typically no-code solutions, although some advanced uses may require code knowledge. Typically, users can find what they need to get started by utilizing the respective vendor support sites, but IT assistance may be needed for more advanced needs. 

Adobe Sign

Adobe Sign is a convenient way to digitally send and sign documents. PDFs can be sent to multiple recipients and be easily configured with fill-in fields to capture information and signatures. 

  • Best For: PDFs where you need signatures and approvals, regardless of whether the person signing has an Elon Account. 
  • Not Great For: Advanced work flows, if/then logic, or forms with complicated approval needs. 
  • How It Works: Upload a PDF to Adobe Sign as a template. Once you've defined the fill-able fields, you can send for signatures. Recipients receive an email notifying them that a document needs to be signed. Once opened, the recipient is directed to the place in the form where their signature is required. Documents can be signed by multiple people in a specified order (e.g., first it needs to go to Joe, then Susan, then finally Bob). 
  • How to Get Started: Log in to Adobe Sign
  • Learn More: Adobe Acrobat Sign Learn & Support

Microsoft Forms

Microsoft Forms is a simple form solution that is part of Elon's Office 365 subscription. This form tool is the simplest to use. Although the customization options are much more limited than other tools on this list, you should have no problem easily and quickly creating a form using Microsoft Forms' simple and intuitive interface

  • Best For: Simple form and survey needs (e.g., opinion surveys, quick polling). 
  • Not Great For: Institutional surveys, advanced work flows (although simple branching is available and relatively easy).
  • How It Works: Create a form using the simple Microsoft Form interface. Choose from different types of questions (e.g., multiple choice, text, Likert scale, etc.) and explore some of the settings like requiring an Elon login, setting end-dates, etc. When you are ready to launch the form/survey, it's as simple as pressing the button "Collect Responses" and you'll have the option to copy the link to add to your webpage, email the form link, create a QR code, or grab embed code to place within your web page. 
  • How to Get Started: Log in to Office 365 and choose Microsoft Forms from the App Launcher (the 9 dots in the left top corner).
  • Learn More: Microsoft Forms Help and Learning


Qualtrics is a rich survey tool that helps faculty, students, and staff build and distribute surveys, view reports, and tabulate and analyze responses. 

  • Best For: Surveys (Institutional surveys, simple surveys, or advanced surveys)
  • Not Great For: Forms. Although you can use Qualtrics for forms, it's meant to be used as a survey tool; if you are hoping to create a form to collect data, you would be better served by other tools on this list. 
  • How It Works: Although not quite as simple as the Microsoft Forms interface, Qualtrics is still fairly consumer-friendly for simple surveys. If you are looking for advanced options, Qualtrics documentation is very helpful. Create a survey from scratch, or choose a survey from a template. Qualtrics offers a lot of options for surveys but what you need for a simple survey is fairly intuitive. Similar to Microsoft Forms, when you are ready to send the survey out, you have several options to do so. 
  • How to Get Started: Log in to Qualtrics, select "Create a New Project" at the bottom of the page, then choose if you want to create a survey from a blank template or one of the templates provided. 
  • Learn More: Qualtrics Support
Qualtrics is the official survey tool for institutional survey assessments. If you have an institutional survey need, be sure to reach out to Elon's Institutional Research and Assessment team. This team specializes in survey assessments and can guide you on creating the most effective survey questions. The following are examples of institutional survey assessments:
  1. A survey administered by OIRA  (e.g., National Survey of Student Engagement)
  2. A survey sponsored by a University Committee/Working Group/Task Force  (e.g., Faculty/Staff QEP Survey)
  3. A survey that is based on an institutional or division priority and sponsored by the person responsible for the priority
  4. A survey in which an entire population is included and is greater than or equal to 350 persons (e.g., a survey of all graduate students, a survey of all students in the School of Communications)
  5. A survey that will be administered on a regular schedule (e.g., every fall, every three years)
  6. A survey that includes benchmarking with other institutions (e.g., National Survey of Student Engagement)
  7. A survey that includes information that can be used by multiple areas on campus (e.g, Diverse Learning Environments)
  8. A survey that is a collaboration among multiple constituencies on campus (e.g., Fall Student Survey)

Event Management

The Event Management application is specifically for form needs related to events. This tools enables designated users to create and edit one-time or recurring events, and also tracks attendance. 

  • Best For: Event registration
  • Not Great For: Other form uses; this app is strictly for event registration for Elon faculty, staff and students (must have an active Elon account to register)
  • How It Works: Many departments are already using this system and have established categories designated for their events. Departments can have multiple administrators in this system which can create/edit event registration. Event coordinators will send a link to potential registrants. Registrants must have an Elon username and password to register. During the event, event coordinators can track who is attending and then are able to export attendees as a CSV following the event. 
  • How to Get Started: Contact the Technology Service Desk

IT Professional Form/Survey Tools

These tools typically require the assistance of an IT professional, although some can be learned by advanced users who have dedicated quite a bit of time to learning the tool. Although some of these tools have low-to-no code knowledge requirements, extending beyond the basic requires knowledge of code and logic. If you are interested in any of these tools, contact the Technology Service Desk to get started. 


eDocs, powered by SoftDocs, is a document management system that also has a form tool component. Documents and form results are highly secure and managed, making this tool a good contender for records that must be maintained and locked after submission. 

  • Best For: Document and records management
  • Not Great For: Simple forms or surveys; we typically reserve eDocs for institutional documents and records (e.g., regulatory and compliance records)
  • How It Works: Work with IT to create the form to the specifications needed. Users will login to the eDocs platform, locate the respective form, fill out the details and submit. The form record is recorded in the eDocs system and you will be provided with several ways to access the data. 
  • How to Get Started: Contact the Technology Service Desk

Microsoft PowerApps/Power Automate

Microsoft PowerApps and Power Automate are two impressive tools that are a part of Microsoft's Power Platform. Although some users on campus have been able to create their own solutions using these tools by learning on their own, IT typically helps create solutions utilizing these little-to-no code tools. 

  • Best For: Advanced forms with simple to complex work flow needs
  • Not Great For: Simple forms; you would be better served using Microsoft Forms for that purpose. As the name implies, you are creating a simple app with the Power App tool. 
  • How it Works: Work with IT to layout the app needs, functionality, etc. Typically form data writes to a SharePoint list, but other options are also available. 
  • How to Get Started: Contact the Technology Service Desk

Custom .NET Apps

Enterprise Solutions has a team of .NET developers who specialize in creating custom applications. 

  • Best For: Unique needs that cannot be satisfied by other tools. Supports authenticated and non-authenticated forms and online credit card needs 
  • Not Great For: Quick or time limited needs. The app development process is resource intensive. Careful thought is put into the projects the team takes on. 
  • How It Works: You'll work with the development team to spec what you want to accomplish with the app. Be prepared to spend time with the team building the requirements, defining features, and testing throughout. 
  • How to Get Started: Complete the Enterprise Solutions Request Form.


Article ID: 139048
Thu 4/7/22 6:12 PM
Thu 9/15/22 8:21 AM
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