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Evaluations of teaching, now called Student Course Experience Survey (SCES), inform many aspects of instructor and learner experiences at McMaster. Surveys support instructor reflections, professional development, and student agency. Procedural inclusion of the student voice is considered paramount to an inclusive and vibrant teaching and learning environment. McMaster is moving to a new platform to administer the SCES, Blue by Explorance, which will enable LMS integration, data analytics, improved student communication and more.

FAQ for Faculty Administrators

The following questions aid faculty and administrators using Blue for course evaluations, now referred to as Student Course Experience Surveys. Detailed FAQs and other documentation on how to use the Blue platform to administer Student Course Experience Surveys will be added here at a future date. If you have any questions, please email evals@mcmaster.ca.

This decision to move toward a Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) product was influenced by the extended functionality provided by a solution like Blue in the medium and long term as well as the growing number of U15 universities using Blue by Explorance.

 

Email invitations are sent to students if they are currently enrolled in a course that is scheduled to be evaluated. The email contains the link to the student’s courses requiring feedback. Alternatively, students may go directly to https://mcmaster.bluera.com/mcmaster and login using the format macid@mcmaster.ca. A QR code for https://mcmaster.bluera.com/mcmaster to use to login is also available.

For the Fall 2022 cycle, the implementation team is working to keep the course evaluation process the same for delegates and students as we move to Blue. The same survey instruments will be available to departments and the first question remains mandatory for all survey instruments. Similarly, the reporting of results will give the same information as in the previous system.  As Blue is integrated with McMaster’s systems, new functionality will be made available to departments to enhance the course evaluations process.

Faculty delegates will be able to access the evaluation reports in the new system shortly after the conclusion of the evaluation cycle.

For Fall 2022 Student Course Experience Surveys, the implementation team will be setting up all the surveys in Blue.

Detailed information and training are available to guide delegates through the process of accessing and possessing the data.

FAQ for Instructors

The following questions aid instructors using Blue for course evaluations, now referred to as Student Course Experience Surveys. Detailed FAQs and other documentation on how to use the Blue platform to administer Student Course Experience Surveys will be added here at a future date. If you have any questions, please email evals@mcmaster.ca.

The same survey instruments used in previous academic years were incorporated into the new Blue system. The first question remains mandatory for all survey instruments.

As end of term approaches, the Student Course Experience Surveys open for courses set to be evaluated. An invitation email is sent to students to submit their feedback in Blue. Instructors receive an invitation to monitor response rates. The only action required by instructors is to encourage students to participate. Invitation emails are only sent if instructors and students are associated with the courses in a live survey. During the evaluation period, survey participants receive reminder emails encouraging them to complete their feedback. Upon completion, the survey results are aggregated into reports. Faculties decide when and how to distribute reports to instructors.

The only action required by instructors is to promote student participation. Please contact your Faculty delegate for more information.

The reporting of results using Blue will be similar to those provided by the previous system. Aggregated responses to Student Course Experience Survey questions will be provided as feedback. Instructors will receive aggregate level survey results after the submission of final grades from their faculty delegate.

FAQ for Students

The following questions aid students using Blue for course evaluations, now referred to as Student Course Experience Surveys. Detailed FAQs and other documentation on how to use the Blue platform to administer Student Course Experience Surveys will be added here at a future date. If you have any questions, please email evals@mcmaster.ca.

Email invitations are sent to students if they are currently enrolled in a course that is scheduled to be evaluated. The email contains the link to the student’s courses requiring feedback. Alternatively, students may go directly to https://mcmaster.bluera.com/mcmaster and login using the format macid@mcmaster.ca. A QR code for https://mcmaster.bluera.com/mcmaster to use to login is also available.

Logout of all McMaster systems. Clear the browser cache and restart the browser. Go to https://mcmaster.bluera.com/mcmaster and login using the link from your email. If your macid is different from your email, use this format: macid@mcmaster.ca. If the login still fails, contact evals@mcmaster.ca.

Each Student Course Experience Survey consists of at least one mandatory question. In some cases, the one question may be the only question requiring feedback while in other cases several questions may be presented.

Information to guide your reflections is available on the Feedback Guidance page.

The first time you submit your results they are submitted. If you have additional windows open, and submit them again, it has no effect. Task can only be submitted once.

To make changes to a survey after you have started it or submitted, sign into blue using the following URL: https://mcmaster.bluera.com/mcmaster/. Under ‘Tasks’ on your home screen you will see the surveys available to you, click on the survey you would like to modify. The survey for the selected course will open in a new tab which enables you to make any changes to your previous responses. Ensure you click submit to save your new responses.

NOTE: The survey may be grayed out if you have already submitted a response. You can still click on this survey to modify it.

No. The instructors only know that the students in their course sections have the opportunity to submit an evaluation.

Instructors are given access to course evaluation reports after the final grades for their courses have been submitted.

Instructors are presented with aggregated data (mean, median, and standard deviation) of non-comment questions and full comments (if applicable) for each course section they teach.