Flashlight Online: Basics

by Larry MacPhee, e-Learning, NAU

The URL for Flashlight is http://ctlsilhouette.ctlt.wsu.edu and online help help icon is available even without a login name and password.

Flashlight Basics | Common Problems | Flashlight Advanced

What is Flashlight?

FlashLight Online is a tool that allows you to create your own simple questionnaires, surveys, etc., and to gather statistics on responses. All done through an easy-to-use, web based interface. e-Learning has paid for a license for NAU faculty and staff to use this tool.

Quickstart: The following step-by-step instructions will walk you through the creation of your first simple survey.

1. Go to the Flashlight website: http://ctlsilhouette.ctlt.wsu.edu

2. Contact Larry MacPhee (928-523-9406) or Wally Nolan (928-523-8554) to set up accounts. Your initial Login ID is "firstname.lastname" and your Password is "1234". You should change your password after your first successful login. You change your password by clicking the Profile profile button.

3. Enter your Login ID and password and then click the "Login" login icon button.

4. Click the "OK" OK icon button or click on the underlined "group name". More about groups later.

5. At the top of the window, click on the "new survey" new survey icon button.

6. On the "Survey Properties Information" page, answer the questions (you can't proceed without answering):

a. Give the new survey a title. For example, call the survey "ice cream flavors".
b. Who can access the survey questions? Choose Option 1 (read and write access only for survey author).
c. Validation: Choose Option 1 (the survey will be anonymous).
d. The survey creation date is automatically entered.
e. What you hope to learn from the survey? Type: "Practice using the Flashlight survey tool"
f. Click the "OK" button at the bottom of the page.

7. Instructions to respondents: Type "You must choose one favorite from the following list of ice cream flavors".

Note the information to the right of the "Edit Survey" icon. It will be needed later.
screen capture of survey info

8. Click the "OK" button. It looks like nothing happened but trust me, it worked ;)

9. At the top of the window, click the "Add Items" add items icon button.

10. Click the "Custom Questions" link (not the Custom Questions image; nothing happens there).

11. This is where you set up the kind of questions you will use in your survey.

a. Under "II. Open Format Questions", choose "A. Radio Buttons"
b. In the "Number of Questions" pull-down menu, the default is "10 questions" and we don't need that many, but it's ok...just leave it set to 10.

12. On this page, you will write the actual survey questions.

a. Enter your survey question and some ice cream flavor choices in the first set of boxes as shown below. If you're feeling adventurous, use different flavors from those listed!
b. Be sure to check the box (indicating that you will use this question).
screen capture of data entry form
c. Scroll down...way, way down to the bottom of the page and click the "Submit" submit icon button.

13. Now you're ready to "Start" the survey. This makes it available for people to take. However, once you start the survey, you can't make changes to it, even if you later stop it. You can make a copy of it and make changes to the copy however.

a. Click the "Start Survey" start survey icon button at the top of the window.
b. Copy the "Respondent URL". That's the link you will give to people so they can take your survey.
c. Click the "OK" button to start the survey.

14. Now you see a preview copy of the survey you just created. You can't take the survey here but you can see what it looks like.

15. You can now give out the URL for your survey and the data should start rolling in.

Take my sample survey at this URL:


16. Wait for people to take your survey. Be patient. You should probably wait more than 5 minutes.

17. Go to the "Analyze" analyze icon button at the top of the window, and select the survey by its name. You can view results as they come in and decide when to stop the survey to prevent more entries (usually as soon as the data fit your hypothesis!)

18. That's it. You're done. Now that you understand the basics of Flashlight, go explore the Advanced Topics.