How to create Qualtrics assignments in bulk

Modified on Tue, 18 Jul 2023 at 11:35 AM

Welcome to the user guide for creating a bulk distribution for a survey. This user guide is meant for root-account admins as they are the only ones who have access to the feature. If something is unclear, feel free to reach out to our support here.

The bulk surveys feature is optional, it can be enabled or disabled by the root-account admin. If you don't see the option to create a bulk survey under the 3-dots button, make sure to enable it first in settings which you can also find under the 3-dots button.  


  1. What is the bulk survey feature?
  2. How do I turn on the bulk survey feature?
  3. How do I create a bulk survey?
  4. Managing your bulk surveys
  5. Embedded data and bulk surveys
  6. How to combine bulk surveys with Canvas blueprints

What is the bulk survey feature?

The bulk survey feature allows you to easily embedded a single survey in multiple Canvas courses without having to visit each respective course to define settings.

How do I turn on the bulk survey feature?

Bulk survey is a more powerful tool than the standard Canvas assignment (the most popular survey option), and that is why it is available only at the root account level. In order to use bulk survey functionality it first has to be enabled. As a root account admin you can do that by clicking the 3-dot menu on the institute surveys. 

Once the menu dropdown appears, you will be able to see the settings option. Go ahead and select that option. 

Now you are in the Qualtrics LTI admin settings page. You can enable the bulk survey easily by turning on the blue switch right here: 

Once you have enabled bulk surveys on the settings page, you will find 'Bulk surveys' under the 3-dot menu button. 

The next step is to add the time zone. The time zone is an important setting to configure. Based on your selected time zone the assignment publication and expiration dates will be affected. To add the timezone to the app you will have to go to 'Settings' in your admin navigation of Canvas. Setting the timezone is important because all the reminders, announcements and most importantly publishing date will be based on the timezone that you have selected. Please see the image bellow; 

Clicking on it will give you an overview of all your installed apps, including the Qualtrics integration. Then please go ahead and press on The next step is to click on the gear icon on the right.

After that you will be able to scroll though the list of the apps and select Qualtrics LTI, see image bellow:

Now please press on the settings icon and select the edit option from the dropdown menu:

When you click this, it will bring you to the settings of the app.

Finally, we want to add person_address_timezone=$Person.address.timezone in the Custom fields overview. You can simply go to the bottom of the Custom fields section and paste it underneath the last line.

You should now be good to go! If this is a little too complex or it is giving you issues, please contact and we will help you set it up!

How do I create a bulk survey?

The first step of creating a bulk distribution is setting up the survey. Go through the survey set-up and make sure to link the data fields if applicable. More information on setting up a survey can be found under step 7 of the admin guide.

It is important to know that just as with the Standard Canvas Assignment, we first need to add the survey from Qualtrics into Canvas. From there we can distribute the desired survey as an assignment in bulk. 

Once you are able to select the survey type, go ahead and select the bulk survey. 

After the survey the set-up, you can check if the survey is compatible with the bulk survey feature. If the property 'Survey can be copied in Canvas' is equal to Yes, the survey can be used for the bulk survey. If this is not the case, your survey is not suited for bulk distribution. One of the main reasons that a survey cannot be used in bulk is because it contains an embedded data field of the type 'Selection' or it makes API calls for an embedded data field of type 'Fixed'.

As you know from Standard Canvas Assignments, we have “fixed” and “selection” embedded data fields. Since we are using Bulk surveys we will not be able to add the selection data fields, but instead of that we can use the “Custom text”. 

While using “Custom text” embedded data in your bulk survey it is necessary to use the CSV file generator. After generating the CSV file, you will be able to fill in the “Custom text” fields within the file. Once you fill in the embedded data fields it is time to adjust the settings to your liking. 

Once you have done that, you are now ready to distribute the survey in bulk. Go to your institute surveys and click on the Menu button on the top right corner. 

Now that your survey is good to go, you can go to the bulk survey overview by clicking 'Bulk surveys' (2) under the 3-dots button (1) in the root-account app. 

Now you are at the bulk survey page! This is where you can manage and check the status of the bulk surveys you have. You can see the Pending Bulks and Bulk survey history, as bellow:

To create a new bulk survey, click on the 'Add bulk survey' button at the top right corner.

Now you can start with the steps for creating a bulk survey:

  1. What is the bulk survey feature?

  2. How do I turn on the bulk survey feature?

  3. How do I create a bulk survey?

    1. Step 1 - Choose a survey

    2. Step 2 - Select Canvas course 

    3. Step 3 - Embedded data 

    4. Step 4 - Canvas Assignment details 

    5. Step 5 - Notifications 

    6. Step 6 - Schedule a creation and publication 

  4. How to undo the bulk survey and opt out? 

  5. How to combine bulk surveys with Canvas blueprints

Step 1 - Choose a survey
All the way at the top is step 1 which reads 'Choose survey'. In this first step, you can select the survey you just set up. If your survey is not compatible with the bulk survey feature, it will be grayed out. 

Step 2 - Select Canvas Courses
Next, you can select the Canvas courses where the survey should be embedded. Use the filter to easily find the courses that you want the survey to be in.

Always make sure that all courses you would like are in the overview on the right. If there are a lot of courses in a subaccount it might be that they are not all loaded yet when you add them to Courses receiving survey. Scrolling all the way down in the overview of courses on the left will help with loading all your courses.

Step 3- Embedded data 

As you know from Standard Canvas Assignments, we have “fixed” and “selection” embedded data fields. Since we are using Bulk surveys we will not be able to add the selection data fields, but instead of that we can use the Custom text and decide for each course what the custom text should be by uploading a CSV file. In the CSV file you can, for each of the courses selected at step 2, add a row and include course ID or SIS ID in the first column. The rest of the columns, one per data field, should contain the desired value of the date fields for every course. The headers have to be included. The first one indicated the selected course id type (Course SIS Id or Canvas Course Id, respecting the case), and the rest have to include the id and it should have exact same name of every data field separated with a colon (you can see the example file below). 

For separating the data we have 2 options: semicolon and coma. 

In order to upload the CSV file, firstly we do recommend downloading the template, filling in the "Custom Text" data fields values in the template and uploading the saved template. See the illustrated steps: 

Once the CSV file is uploaded successfully you will be notified that the data field values are saved. 

In case there is any issue with your CSV file or the CSV delimiter you will be able to see an error message near this button. Once you hover over the “information” icon you will find more information on the error. 


Step 4 - Canvas assignment details

Lastly, the details for the Canvas Assignment can be defined. Meaning, you don't have to visit each Canvas Course separately for the assignment settings.

For bulk surveys, we create a new assignment group that is called 'Qualtrics Surveys'. If a course has multiple bulks surveys linked to it, we will not create a new assignment group each time, they will all be added to the same assignment group. You also can add a manual set up survey assignment to this assignment group if you want to organize all surveys in a course.

Here you are able to define the details of the Canvas assignment where the survey will be placed into. All bulk surveys will appear in an assignment group in the courses you have selected. 

Start step 4 by giving the Assignment a name and assigning points: 

Just as with Standard Canvas assignments, in case you would not like this assignment to be counted towards the final grade, please enable this checkbox: 

After that you will be able to configure your assignment due date and availability date, which is exactly the same settings as you have seen while uploading the Standard Canvas Assignments. 

Step 5- Notifications

Here you will be able to set announcements and reminders. Announcements will be sent to everyone in the selected courses.

You can also change the announcement title as well as the announcement message and insert the survey link. 

Reminders will be sent only to students who have not submitted yet. You can set up to 5 reminders and just as with the announcements you can adjust the title and the message to your liking. 

Step 6- Schedule creation and publication 

Select at which date and time the assignments with the survey will be created. Secondly, you decide when these assignments will be published and therefore available for course participants. You will be able to see in which time zones you are selecting the date and time.

After that you can either save and finish later or generate the bulk. 

 We recommend creating and publishing bulk surveys out of office hours as it can be quite heavy on your Canvas environment.   

Congratulations, you have finished all the steps! 

Once the survey is published, you will be able to see all 7 statuses the surveys will go through.

  1. Draft: The bulk survey has been set-up, but nothing has happened yet. This is a safe stage to make changes. 

  2. Validated: The bulk survey has been validated and assignments will be created when the creation date is reached.

  3. Creating: The assignments are currently being created in Canvas.

  4. Unpublished: All assignments have been placed in courses, but the assignments are not yet available for course participants.

  5. Publishing: All assignments are currently being published in Canvas.

  6. Live: All assignments have been published and are therefore available for course participants.

  7. Closed: All assignments have been removed from the corresponding courses. The bulk survey is still saved in history.

You are also able to undo the bulk survey by deleting the assignment in Canvas. To do so please go to the section “Bulk survey history” and under the Action column you will see icon, see below. 

Once you press on this icon the popup will appear: 

Go ahead and type “delete” and confirm it by pressing the red “delete” button. 

Once the bulk survey is successfully deleted you will be able to see that in your Bulk survey history as bellow: 

In order to allow the instructor to remove the survey and the assignment from the course without it being recreated when the assignment is published please enable the blue scroll bar bellow:

When the opt-out functionality is enabled on the Bulk survey the instructor can still opt-out for this survey by removing the survey and the assignment from the course. Bellow  you can see the instructor view. 

In the Bulk survey history you will be able to see the info tab where you can check if the surveys were opted out and see the current status. 

Once you press the info icon you will see the list of instructors who opted out, see bellow:

In case you need to export the list of instructors who opted out, you can do that here by pressing the " Export" button.

How to combine bulk surveys with Canvas blueprints 

Bulk surveys can be combined with Canvas Blueprint Courses. To do so, use the toggle called 'Only show Canvas blueprint Courses' when selecting Canvas Courses. Now, the only courses you can select are blueprint courses.

Be aware the survey will only be placed inside the blueprint course itself (and not in associated courses).

Only after synchronising the blueprint course, the survey will be added to associated courses. This set-up prevents any mishaps between the Qualtrics LTI bulk survey feature and the Canvas blueprint feature.

That is it! By now you should be able to start practicing the bulk surveys on your own. 

In case you have any questions please feel free to send us an email here   

Stuck? Need help? Feel free to contact us

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