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How can I customize Panorama survey questions?

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We know there are times when you might need to customize Panorama survey content to capture the feedback you need from your community. With the Convert to Custom Instrument feature, you will be able to edit, delete, and reorder questions and answer choices within an existing Panorama survey instrument.

To learn more about customizing your survey, watch the video below or use the table of comments below to read answers to common questions.


What should I be mindful of when using the "Convert to Custom Instrument" feature? 

NOTE: When you make changes to any Panorama question, answer choice or scoring within a particular topic, you will lose the ability to view  benchmarks  in your survey reports for that topic. 

When changing Panorama content, there will be some implications for your survey reports. 


Confirm all topics before converting

  • Confirm your topic selections before clicking on "Convert to Custom Instrument." Once you convert to a custom instrument, you will no longer be able to add or remove topics with the checkbox feature. 

If you accidentally convert to custom instrument before adding the topics of choice, you can start a new instrument or add in questions manually. See image below to see how topics are displayed before and after converting to a custom instrument.


Loss of ability to view benchmarks

Benchmarks appear on district and school-level report pages, as well as individual topic pages, if they are available. When a topic has benchmarks available, you will see "Includes Benchmarks" next to the question. 

When you edit Panorama content within a specific topic, for example School Safety, you will lose the ability to view benchmarks for the School Safety topic. Below, you can see that if you changed one of the questions within the School Safety topic, benchmarks will not be displayed in your reports.

When you make adjustments such as rewording a question, editing answer choices or altering the scoring for a specific answer choices, you will no longer be able to view benchmarks for that topic. There will be message pop-ups along the way to remind you how these changes will impact your ability to view benchmarks when survey results are available.


What are the benefits of converting my existing Panorama survey into a custom instrument?

NOTE: When you make changes to any Panorama question, answer choice or scoring within a particular topic, you will lose the ability to view  benchmarks  in your survey reports for that topic. 

When necessary, converting your existing Panorama survey provides you with more flexibility to incorporate questions that are specific to your district or school's specific culture and context. Once you click the "Convert to Custom Instrument" button, you'll be able to customize.

Customizing How-tos

Edit questions, answers, and scoring for Panorama survey content

Click on the question that you would like to edit. Edit the question, answer choice or scoring options and then click "Save."


Delete individual questions from Panorama topics

If there is a specific Panorama question that you would like to remove, you can click on the question, and then hit "Delete question" at the bottom.

Easily reorder (drag and drop) all questions

Before converting to a custom instrument, only newly added custom questions can be reordered. After leveraging the "convert to custom instrument" feature, you can easily drag and drop any question inclusive of Panorama questions. 

Leveraging an Existing Panorama Instrument: If you are using an existing Panorama survey instrument and added your own custom questions, you can reorder those custom questions.

  Leveraging a Custom Instrument: If you have converted your survey into a custom instrument, you can reorder any of the questions on this survey.

Best Practices

Changes are required for each version of the survey

For student or staff surveys, there are often two versions of the survey. For student surveys, you typically see one version for elementary students (grades 3-5) and one version for secondary students (grades 6-12). For staff surveys, you typically see one version for staff and one version for teachers. If you edit the question in one version of the survey, this change will not be automatically reflected in the other version. 

For example, below you will see that if I changed one of the questions for the elementary (grade 3-5) survey, I will need to scroll down to the secondary (6-12) survey and make the same change. This is only applicable if the same question shows up in both versions of the survey. 

Survey translations must be added for all edited content

Most Panorama survey instruments are available in a variety of languages because we hope to serve the largest community of survey-takers possible. Review a list of available translations here. When you convert to a custom instrument and edit any text, the various translated versions will also need to be updated.

You can make adjustments to the translated survey instrument by following the below steps:

1. Select a question and edit the question text or answer choice text. 

2. Select the language you want to translate in the left side-bar menu. 

3. Scroll down to your custom question(s). Notice they are still in English! 

4. To edit, click on the custom question and update the fields with your translated content. Remember to click "save" when you are done with each question! 

Learn more about preparing your survey translations on this page.

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