I have a quick question regarding survey construction that I'm hoping to get some clarification on.

Here's my current survey set-up:

  • Question 1
  • Question 1a (i.e., a question that relates to information provided in Q1)
  • Question 2
  • Question 2a
  • Question 3
  • Question 3a

...and so on and so forth.

Here's what I'm looking to do: I'd like to present these questions in a random order, however, Question X and Question Xa have to stay together. Is there a way to "glue" related questions together, and randomize presentation of those "glued" pairs within the Qualtrics platform?

  • $\begingroup$ I am unfamiliar with your platform, but in Matlab I would simply split questions and sub-questions in a matrix, where column 1 contains the question numbers (1,2,3...n; with n being # questions) and column 2 the subquestions (1,2,3,,,n). Then randomize the matrix using column 1, collect the identifiers and apply randomization on column 2 /or simply use the number from column 2 and seek and apply them on column 2. Done. $\endgroup$
    – AliceD
    Mar 12, 2017 at 20:01

1 Answer 1


There is probably a better way of doing this, but you could probably do this using the block feature in Qualtrics. For example, I often do this when I have several multi-item scales. Each scale is a block. You might randomise item order within a block, but you can also randomise the order of blocks.

So you could group questions (e.g., 1 and 1a) into their own block and then randomise blocks.

See here for info: https://www.qualtrics.com/support/survey-platform/survey-module/survey-flow/standard-elements/randomizer/

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ that's what I said! my coprights! +1 $\endgroup$
    – AliceD
    Mar 13, 2017 at 9:12
  • $\begingroup$ Hey--thanks for the input. One thing that I should have mentioned: I already have several blocks, with different versions of the questions inside of each one (i.e., 1, 1a...3, 3a in one, and 1', 1a'...3', 3a' in another). I'm now in a position where I'm trying to "block within a block," as it were, and then randomize those "blocks within blocks." If you have any knowledge about how I might be able to do that, I'd certainly appreciate it, although I'm not overly confident that I can execute that within the current qualtrics platform. $\endgroup$
    – qjacob
    Mar 14, 2017 at 19:53
  • $\begingroup$ Echoing this, if anyone has another solution it would be appreciated -- putting questions into blocks like this is extremely unwieldy. $\endgroup$ Apr 23, 2018 at 17:41

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