Wisconsin Online Youth Risk Behavior Survey

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.


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 (OYRBS) 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 http://goal.learningpt.org/winss/sip/.
  • 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.

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.

OYRBS Administration Site:
Go to http://yrbs.learningpt.org/adminlogin.aspx to access the OYRBS administration site to create and manage student surveys for your community. If you are a first time user you will need to register and create a login account.

The Wisconsin OYRBS system complements, but does not replace, the statewide Wisconsin Youth Risk Behavior Survey, which is conducted every two years in a random sample of public high schools. The latter provides results valid only at the state level.

Online YRBS Resources and Templates:

Tips to Improve Your Online YRBS Experience:


For questions about this information, contact Katherine McCoy (608) 266-0506
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