Creating Student Detail Exports from iSAMS for LimeSurvey

We have LimeSurvey installed at school for creating and managing web-based surveys. For those who don’t know LimeSurvey it is an Open Source fully featured web-based survey system. It runs on one of our internal web-servers and is being used to survey staff, students and parents about a whole range of different topics.

One of the challenges with using survey systems can be ensuring that only the users you want to can access the survey, and that they only complete the survey once. LimeSurvey gets around this issue by making use of “Tokens”. You can read more about this on their on-line manual here:

This post explains how to export student details from iSAMS in a format that LimeSurvey can accept and how to import them into your survey.

Create the export from iSAMS

  1. Log into iSAMS and navigate to “Student Management > Student Manager
  2. Perform your search to get a list of all the students you wish to take the survey (The Academic tab will probably be where you want to go first!).
  3. Once you have the list of students in your search results, select all those who you wish to take the survey by putting a tick next to their name (or use the “Select All” tick box at the top of the search results)
  4. Now from the “Selected Students” drop-down menu to the right choose “Exporting & Reports > Export Students Recordsexport students
  5. In the window which opens choose “” and click “Next >
  6. In the next window deselect “Date of Birth” and “Preferred Name” from the “Core Data Fields” section; select “Student Email Address” from the “Current Fields” section; deselect “School ID” from the “Other Fields” section and click “Next >” again
  7. In the next window (Export Options) ensure “Export to Comma Separated Values (.csv)” is selected and click “Create Export >
  8. In the next window (Export Manager) click the “Download the Export File containing the Data” link and when prompted to open or save the document choose “Save As” and save to a known locationexport-data
  9. You can now log out of iSAMS

Prepare the file for uploading to LimeSurvey

You now need to replace the contents of the header row (row 1) to match the titles LimeSurvey is expecting

  1. Open the file you just saved with Excel or another spreadsheet application
  2. Replace the titles in row 1 with the following:
    1. Surname” becomes “lastname
    2. Forename” becomes “firstname
    3. Student Email Address” becomes “email
  3. Save and close the file. If prompted by Excel to save in a different format choose to keep using the CSV format

Uploading your student file into LimeSurvey

You are now ready to upload your user file into LimeSurvey. You should already have created your survey and at least made a start on inputting your questions. In your survey follow these steps to import your users:

  1. Click the “Token Management” icontoken-icon
  2. If you are warned that “Tokens have not been initialised for this survey.” click “Initialise tokens” and then click “Continue
  3. You will now be on the “Token control” page for your survey. Click the “Import tokens from CSV file icon” to begin your importcsv-import
  4. Click the “Browse” button to locate the CSV file you saved earlier
  5. Click “Upload
  6. You should then be presented with a confirmation message about the upload
  7. Click the “Display tokens” icon to view your imported student records disply-tokens
  8. Click the “Generate tokens” icon to create your tokens (pass-codes) for your users, clicking “Yes” when promptedgenerate-tokens

Once your survey is activated you are now ready to edit your email templates and send invitation emails to your uploaded users to take your survey!

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