Frequently Asked Questions


Can I view a copy of the Wellbeing Assessment questionnaire?

Yes! You can view the 2019 Wellbeing Assessment questionnaire.

The Assessment contains Core Modules and Additional Modules. The Core Modules are included in every survey, while the Additional Modules are optional add-ons of which each school can select up to 2 for inclusion their survey.

We are always working to improve the Wellbeing Assessment based on the latest wellbeing research and the needs of our partner institutions.  Therefore, aspects of the measure vary from year to year.  For instance, in 2019, we introduce the Civic Orientation dimension, replacing previous dimensions of Lifelong Service and Volunteerism.

Do I need approval from my university’s IRB to participate in the survey?

Usually, the answer is no. Our IRB has interpreted federal guidelines about “non-engaged institutions” to mean that you should not need to secure your own IRB approval.

The reason is that the Wellbeing Assessment team at Wake Forest University conducts all the research and human subjects activities: we contact and recruit participants, we developed the measure, and we conduct the generalizable research based on the data we collect. Your institution may use the de-identified data we send you for research or internal purposes, but you are not recruiting participants or working with identified data.

The human subjects activities in this study are approved by the Wake Forest University IRB.  Here is a memo from WFU’s IRB explaining non-engaged partner status. If you are talking with your IRB, please provide them with this memo. To reduce confusion, do not say that the study or your site are “exempt.” Exempt research is a particular category of research; the Wellbeing Assessment project does not qualify for exempt status.

Is the Wellbeing Assessment survey study IRB approved?

The Wake Forest University IRB approves the Wellbeing Assessment survey study each year.  Before each year’s administration, we reapply for IRB approval.  You can view official documentation of approval for the 2019 survey.

When can the survey be administered at my school?

The Wellbeing Assessment survey is administered each year in the spring semester, typically between February and May.  Each school selects a survey open date and the survey remains open at that school for 2 weeks from that date.  Enrollment in the survey administration typically opens in November.

Please note that survey open dates are contingent upon submission of registration materials within the corresponding registration window. Registration windows are approximately 3-6 weeks prior to your chosen survey open date. This gives the Wellbeing Assessment team time to add you to our IRB application as a non-engaged partner and to program your survey.

How long is the survey?

Depending on your customizations, the survey is approximately 190-210 items.  We use a planned missing data design in which each student only answers approximately 2/3 of the items. On average, the survey takes students about 20-25 minutes to complete.

How is the survey distributed to students?

The Wellbeing Assessment team creates and distributes the survey using the Qualtrics online survey platform. Your school provides our team with a list of student emails that we use to distribute the survey. Students receive an invitation email and up to 3 reminder emails containing a unique link to complete the survey. Students have the option to unsubscribe from future reminder emails.

Do you have any guidelines or requirements regarding sample size?

At schools with more than 4,000 students, we suggest a sample of at least 4,000 traditionally aged, full-time enrolled undergraduate students. At schools with fewer than 4,000, our approach is to invite the entire population of traditionally aged, full-time enrolled undergraduate students. This might not be possible for your school, and we are happy to accommodate smaller samples.

Do you provide any promotional materials?

Yes!  It is a great idea to promote the survey on your campus by sharing information about it through emails, newsletters, posted flyers, etc.

For your convenience, we have created a set of flyers that you can edit and use to alert students that the survey is happening.  Please note that you may only customize the flyers as outlined in the attached instructions.  Also note that you will need to download to Microsoft Word to view and edit properly – opening in Google Docs will cause issues with formatting.

Who can I contact if I still have questions?

The Wellbeing Assessment team is happy to answer any questions you have.  Please contact Research Associate, Laura Hix.

Now enrolling institutions for the Spring 2019 Wellbeing Assessment survey