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Course Feedback

NIC Student Learning Experience Feedback Service

  • Course Feedback Surveys – Faculty Instructions: Handout – PDF Version
  • Course Feedback Surveys – Student Instructions: Handout – PDF Version
  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): See below
  • Course Survey Questions: Go to end of page

Course Feedback Surveys Introduction: NIC has an institutional survey that is an informal, formative set of course and instructor questions aimed to provide instructors with confidential feedback on their courses at the mid-point and end-point time periods. Course feedback is about gathering input on what is going well and where enhancements can be made. It is aimed to give students a voice to share what is working well and what isn’t and give faculty inputs to support the student learning experience and their own professional development.

Software: The survey is powered by the software product Blue and the company Explorance, chosen by the former NIC Learning Experience Inquiry Group. The software is hosted on a server in Montreal, Canada and complies with BC privacy/FIPPA regulations.

Questions: The end-of-course survey questions (see bottom of page) were used for the pilot and were written to comply with research (University of Saskatchewan, Toronto Metropolitan University) and reports (HEQCO) on what students are capable of responding to about their learning experience. They were further edited and enhanced by a group of NIC faculty and administrators to align with common NIC language.

Phase 1: In Fall 2021, a small group of faculty did pilot testing of the platform. Further refinements in 2022 and the first phase happening in Fall 2023 to 132 instructors in the Faculties of Arts, Science and Management and Health and Human Services.

Phase 2: (Winter 2024) will include all instructors and all courses for both MID and END-OF-COURSE Feedback Services. Instructors are encouraged to sign up for one or both of the services. Many colleges and universities have course feedback surveys and many do them both mid and end of course. The choice to use the service is optional – but highly encouraged!


Frequently Asked Questions

What is NIC Student Learning Experience Feedback service all about?
This survey service has been in the works for nearly four years with consultations and test runs. As part of our Quality Assurance Process Audit (QAPA) engagement we know that having a common course feedback survey is going to be a requirement for NIC.

Currently, across NIC, some departments and some instructors provide surveys to students to obtain feedback on their learning experience. There has never been an institutional-wide common survey for all NIC students. For the time being, you’ll have the choice to continue to use your own surveys or opt into the new NIC survey service.

Where can I see the survey questions?
Scroll to the bottom of the page to see the Phase 1 version. Another set of questions has been created for Trades and Technical programs. There is a third set of questions that will be rolled out in Winter 2024 that students complete mid-way through the course to give you immediate feedback before the course ends. More on this in Winter 2024.

Which instructors are invited to phase one of this deployment at NIC?
For Phase 1, the service will invite 132 instructors teaching 351 FALL 2023 courses in Arts, Science and Management and Health and Human Services. Access and Regions courses including ABE and DAL-P are not included this Fall. Trades and Continuing Education Courses are not included either.

Instructors who teach in the invited courses will receive an email at 60% of the course to OPT IN to the service (early November in a typical 3-month term course). The survey has 18 questions: 5 about the instructor, 6 about the course, 4 about the students and 3 open-ended questions (see questions below).

What if I don’t want to participate this term or in future terms?
The service is optional. It is hoped that many instructors (if not all instructors, at some point) will opt in. Obtaining feedback from students is a critical part of your professional development and enhancement of being an instructor. If you do not opt in to the service, no surveys will be sent to your students.

Who gets access to the survey results/reports?
Only you, the instructor. This is not an ‘evaluation’ of you or your teaching and as such the results/reports are not being shared with your chair, dean, director and/or Human Resources. This is a formative feedback service to provide you with additional inputs to help improve your courses and teaching practices. This is fairly common practice at many post-secondary institutions. Not all course surveys are used for job promotion and/or work performance evaluations.

In addition, only two NIC employees can see the results/reports: Liesel Knaack, Director, CTLI and Wayne Hopwood, Senior Research Analyst, IRP working with Liesel. These two people are the only ones who have access to Blue survey software and as such need access to run the projects and support your questions.

Will my students get a course survey if I do not respond to the email invitation?
No. Your course has been given ‘eligible’ status to be invited, but that doesn’t mean the course surveys will roll out. You still have to OPT IN as an instructor to have the course survey(s) be deployed.

Can I see the progress of how many students are responding to the survey?
Yes! The subject management screen (see handout above) will always be available. You will not know WHICH students are responding but it will give you a percentage of respondents. If you are getting a low rate it is best to remind students that you value their input and encourage participation.

How do the students find out about the survey?
They will receive a customized email after you have opted in to the survey service. The email contains a link for them to see ONLY the courses that have instructors who want to do the survey. The email will come at 85% of the course with steps to complete as shown in the student handout at the top of this page. They will also get a reminder email at 90%, 100% and 110% of the course if they have NOT completed the survey. The reminders are automated by the system and only go to students who have not completed.

How can I get a higher return rate from students on the course feedback survey?
Inform them you have signed up and will be seeking their input when the email comes. When instructors explain why they signed up and that they value their students’ input, you will get a higher return rate. Give students time in class to complete the survey. Ask them in an email to take a few minutes to complete the questions. The survey should not take more than 5-7 minutes of their time. Explain that you will read the results and take their suggestions and input to heart. NOTE: If you have LESS than 3 students provide a response – you will NOT receive a report due to protocol for what is a threshold level for reporting results. Encourage your students to respond! Remind them it is anonymous and doesn’t take much time.

What if there is more than one instructor listed in a course?
Work together with your co-instructors. It would be best if all of you chose to opt in or all chose to opt out. It will be less confusing for students. But if some of you wish to opt in (and some not), you may do so and the survey will launch. It will ask the students to provide feedback on the instructor(s) who opted in along with all the other course questions.

If you have been added in Colleague (via booking forms) in an ‘instructor’ role but you are technically not the instructor (but rather a chair, library contact or another role) you will be invited to the survey process. You should chose to not opt in. Ignore the invite. In the future additional  non-‘instructors’ should only be added at the Brightspace course level.

What does it look like for the students if they have two or more instructors opt in to the service?
The students will see one set of questions for the course, one set for statements about yourself and one set of open-ended questions. For the 5 instructor-related questions (see below) they will have those repeated with each instructor’s name at the top of each repeated section. Students will select their responses for the instructor questions for each instructor.

What if I have multiple cross-listed sections?
If you have multiple reserved sections within one course (e.g., DLS1, DLS1T, DLS1B) they will be all merged together into the core section name DLS1. There will only be one survey sent to your entire course section of students.

When do I get an email invitation to join the service?
You will get an email at 60% of the course from the start date. For Fall 2023 this would be October 30 for courses ending December 5th. Since this date has passed, you will immediately get the survey as soon as we launch the project which is/was Monday, November 6, 2023.

How long will it take me to sign up for the service?
A minute or two. Not long. We have a very easy to follow handout (see top of page) for you to review and follow the steps. If you have any questions email and we’ll help you out.

When will my students get their surveys?
If your course has an end date of December 5, 2023, your students will get the surveys at 85% of the course which means around November 22nd. The survey will be open for them until 110% of the course which is December 15. Other courses have later or earlier end dates past December 5th and so the surveys will deploy later or earlier. Just calculate the 85% point of the course based on the official start and end dates.

Are the surveys anonymous for students?

When will I get a summary report of the student responses?
After your course is complete, you will get a summary report via an email IF you had a minimum of 3 students complete the survey. It will direct you to where you can download your private report. If you had 0, 1 or 2 students complete the survey in total, you will not get a summary report. It means the data was not suitable to report with such a low response rate.

What if there are two or more instructors who were part of the class – how does that look on our reports?
You will get a separate report from the other instructors. The 5 instructor questions (see below) will only be for you. All instructors will get a summary of the other questions as they are not instructor specific.

Will students’ open-ended responses be part of the report?
Yes. Their names will not be attached so you won’t know who wrote what. There will be no redacting or editing of student comments. These comments will be as the students wrote them.

What do I do with the summary report results?
Read them over, look for any patterns, themes or areas that are recurring. Examine the open-ended comments. If you wish to have a consultation about the results of the survey please reach out to and one of the staff would be happy to unpack the results, provide some suggestions and guide you on next steps.


Course Feedback survey: END-of-COURSE QUESTIONS for All But Trades and Continuing Education 

These are for all disciplines except Faculty of Trades and Technical Programs and Continuing Education and Training. There are 18 core institutional questions. 15 required questions are on a 5-point Likert Scale and 3 optional questions are open-ended. If there is more than one instructor who opts in to this course feedback service, the students will see a duplicate of the instructor questions for each instructor in their course. The students will see only one set of all the remaining questions. 

Course Questions  rated on a 5-point Likert scale (strongly disagree, disagree, neutral, agree, strongly agree)

  • I found the course structure easy to follow.
  • I understood what I needed to do to be successful in this course.
  • The course resources (textbooks, readings, web-based materials) helped me learn.
  • The course assessments (projects, tests, quizzes, reports, papers) helped me learn.
  • The learning environment was welcoming and supportive.
  • The course was a positive learning experience for me.

Instructor Questions  rated on a 5-point Likert scale (strongly disagree, disagree, neutral, agree, strongly agree)

  • The instructor communicated the subject matter clearly.
  • The instructor stimulated me to think about the subject.
  • The instructor encouraged my active participation in the class.
  • I received feedback that supported my learning.
  • The instructor was responsive within a reasonable time period when I needed assistance.

Statements about Yourself  rated on a 5-point Likert scale (strongly disagree, disagree, neutral, agree, strongly agree)

  • I was normally prepared for this course.
  • I had good attendance in this course.
  • I put sufficient time and effort into this course.
  • The workload was reasonable and relative to the course expectations.

Open-Ended Questions

  • Overall, the moments in the course when I was most uninvolved as a learner were when:
  • Overall, the moments in the course when I was most involved as a learner were when:
  • Please share anything about this course the previous questions did not allow you to express.