Students working on a project
The USRI technology refresh project modernizes student feedback collection

Dec. 8, 2022

What’s in a survey? New course survey platform will help discover that and more

Project to refresh Universal Student Ratings of Instruction technology brings modern course feedback system to UCalgary

As more and more things move online, surveys are no different. Going beyond the Scantron sheets of the past, a refreshed technology platform is coming to UCalgary over the next year to help modernize and improve the student and academic staff experience of providing and gathering course feedback.

The USRI technology refresh project, led by a steering committee that includes the Office of Institutional Analysis, IT, Continuing Education, Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning and Student Experience, among others, is underway that will help address some of the technical issues the previous platform had in collecting student feedback.

“Feedback from our students is an important way to ensure that UCalgary is offering exceptional teaching and learning experiences for everyone,” says Dr. Leslie Reid, PhD, vice-provost (teaching and learning). “Our current platform is limited in the functionality it provides for gathering student feedback. It’s critical that we shift to a more modern system that will help us improve the student and faculty experience.”

After a thorough review, Explorance Blue has been identified as the top platform. It will replace Class Climate, the current platform, to support advanced survey practices, data collection, text analytics, and reporting for student feedback.

Beyond permanently getting rid of the paper forms which will reduce our environmental impact, Explorance Blue will bring the opportunity for customized survey design, digital feedback collection, access to a question bank developed by teaching and learning experts, and streamlined business processes. It’s also a Canadian-owned company, used across most U15 institutions.

“We are moving the current USRI questionnaire and faculty forms into Explorance Blue in a phased approach,” says Reid. “We know this new platform will help UCalgary get the most out of the course feedback surveys, amplify student voices and support faculty growth and development.”

More details about the phased roll-out will be shared in the coming months. Read more information about the USRI technology refresh project.

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