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San Diego State University

COE Qualtrics User Support

Lesson 8: Requiring Responses


Deciding to participate or not in a survey rests on the right of self-determination. Forcing people to provide responses they would not like to give or complete a survey violates one’s right of self-determination. This lesson examines ways participants are forced to complete surveys and how survey tools may force respondents to respond to questions they might find objectionable.

Lesson Objectives

The lesson addresses the following points:
  1. determine whether survey conditions force respondents to complete survey (e.g., part of class assignment)
  2. articulate methods that may force respondents to respond to questions (e.g., not allow skip questions)

Lesson Resources

Learning Activities

  1. Mandatory surveys
    1. Prior to the discussion, provide students the link to the Carl Bailik article.
    2. Create a list of reasons for not requiring U.S. citizens to complete the census
    3. Generalize the issues to any survey and other contexts where individuals might be forced to complete a survey.
  2. Forced responses
    1. Review the process for forcing responses in Qualtrics (validation).
    2. Identify contexts where questions must be answered to get required information.
    3. Have students connect the need to force responses to the issues of intrusive questions.

Reflection/Discussion Topics

  1. If information is valuable to society at large, why shouldn’t people be required to complete a survey?
  2. What is the likely result if a person is forced to respond to a survey question they find objectionable? What ethical methods could be utilized to get them to respond?

Additional Resources

American community survey. (2012, April 2). Retrieved from