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Wisconsin Online Youth Risk Behavior Survey

NEW: The Online YRBS system has been updated to reflect the questions that appear on the official 2017 State of Wisconsin YRBS. All previous questions are still available for use, but some have been moved from "core" to "supplemental" questions. If you want your survey to look like the official 2017 State of Wisconsin YRBS, simply select all the "Core Clusters". Otherwise, use supplemental questions to customize your survey. Questions? Contact Mariah Geiger or Kate McCoy (emails appear at the bottom of this page).

Wisconsin Online Youth Risk Behavior Survey (OYRBS)

Looking for a way to assess your students' safety and health behavior?
A free service for Wisconsin school districts and their community partners.


Every two years, the state of Wisconsin participates in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Youth Risk Behavior Survey, which is used to generate official statistics on Wisconsin youth. That system only produces statistics at the state level. In order to allow schools, districts, and counties to generate local statistics, the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) offers a companion system, called the Online Youth Risk Behavior Survey (OYRBS).

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Wisconsin school districts, private schools, tribes, CESAs, and county agencies (i.e., public health, human services, 51.42 boards) can use the Wisconsin Online Youth Risk Behavior Survey system to gather local student self-reported data on health behaviors, attitudes and perceptions, and protective factors. These data can help raise awareness of important health issues, influence societal norms and perceptions, show the need for funding, and capture the need for, and monitor the impact of, prevention programs for school-aged youth.

Over 300 school districts in Wisconsin have successfully used the OYRBS to gather data about their middle school and high school students.

DPI provides at no cost:

  • A web-based survey system to conduct voluntary, anonymous, online student surveys at the school, school district, community, county, or CESA level.
  • A guide to administer the survey including survey design guidance, checklists, timelines, sample letters, and more.
  • Valid and reliable questions on use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs; weapons and violence; intentional and unintentional injuries; depression and suicide; risky sexual behaviors; nutrition; physical activity; and other health behaviors.
  • A flexible survey building tool with questions for middle school and high school students.
  • Detailed frequency tables and graphs that can be disaggregated by age, grade level, gender, race/ethnicity, and academic grades.
  • Tables of trend data at the question level.
  • A dataset for further analysis.
  • The ability to incorporate local YRBS data in the DPI School Improvement Planning tool at
  • Comparable state and national YRBS results.

Partnerships - Increase Efficiency and Reduce the Number of Surveys
The successful administration of a local student survey often relies on partnerships with internal and external staff and agencies. Partners that have experience in surveying, such as pupil services staff, school AODA coordinators, public health and human services agencies, and CESAs can help with coordinating, designing, and implementing a survey. In addition, these partners often have experience analyzing and using data. Another positive benefit of these partnerships is the elimination of multiple surveys because the survey system can collect data on multiple risk behaviors at the school district, county, or CESA level. Reducing the number of surveys will decrease the burden placed on schools, staff, and students.

Those who are utilizing the Wisconsin OYRBS system need to provide:

  • A project coordinator dedicated to manage the survey administration process. Planning and preparation time of two to four months is recommended.
  • Computer labs or a similar setting with a high speed internet connection to support the survey process.
  • Sampling and data analysis expertise for steps such as student selection, weighting data, and data analysis and interpretation, if these steps are desired. Contact the Department of Public Instruction, (608) 266-7921, for recommendations to sampling and analysis resources in Wisconsin.
Creating An Account and Logging On
Those who want to create, review, or administer a survey need user accounts. (Note that these accounts are NOT for students taking the survey.)

To create a new account or login to an existing OYRBS account, go here. If you are a first-time user, follow the prompt at the top of the screen to register.

In addition to registering, first-time Survey Administrators (i.e., the overall survey director) also need to submit signed Survey Administrator Verification forms with signatures from any and all districts covered by the survey. After the form has been received and verified, your account will be enabled.

Once you have an active account, follow the User Guides and other resources below. Users overseeing a survey in more than one school may wish to review the OYRBS Quick Guide for Counties and CESAs.

User Guides
The following user guides and webcast will provide you with the information and resources that you need to successfully administer a local student survey using the OYRBS. The User Guide: Online Youth Risk Behavior Survey Administration System will lead you through the steps of developing and administering an online YRBS survey and accessing the survey results. The resource, A Guide to Conducting the Online YRBS Survey provides practical guidance and resources (e.g., parental permission templates, fact sheets) for administering a local student survey using the OYRBS.

Online YRBS Resources and Templates

Tips to Improve Your Online YRBS Experience

For user support questions about how to access and use the OYRBS system, please contact Mariah Geiger, (608) 266-2684.

For questions about survey methodology and/or how to use your data, please contact Kate McCoy, (608) 266-0506.