Blekinge Institute of Technology
Karlskrona and Karlshamn, Sweden
Existing course evaluation approach needed modern software that could be integrated with Canvas learning management system. Objectives to increase response rates and provide better reporting through embedded approach.
"Blue has been a great investment for us, both from a cost and time perspective, because when it is up and running we can rely on the automation"
- Fully integrated with Canvas learning
- Streamlined end-to-end experience for all users.
- Automated approach is cost and time effective.
- Better reports for Faculty and senior leaders.
- “Supportive” customer service.
Modern software that could integrate with Canvas
Blekinge Institute of Technology (BTH), which was granted university status in 1999, has a distinctive focus on the digitalisation of society and sustainability. Its mission is to contribute to a more sustainable societal development through higher education, research and innovation. It has nine Departments spanning a Faculty of Computing and Faculty of Engineering, 200 academic staff and 2,500 students.
BTH has automated its evaluations since 2011 but, having changing its learning management system to Canvas, took the decision to seek an alternative course evaluation partner. “We were faced with a complex course evaluation process and required modern software that could integrate with Canvas,” said Christina Vesterlund Hansson, Assistant Manager (Administration) at BTH. “I first met Explorance at a Canvas conference in Spring 2018 and was immediately impressed with what they had to offer. The main attraction to Blue was that it could be embedded within Canvas. We did not want a separate system for course evaluations. Having a single sign-on through Canvas, and a course evaluation system that was really easy to connect to, was essential. Blue’s integration with Canvas provides a streamlined end-to-end experience for all users.”
Just six months later, in October 2018, Blue was formally selected by BTH as their chosen course evaluation partner.
Targeting higher response rates and better reporting
BTH students can now complete evaluation forms without leaving the Canvas portal and, for Christina, an increase in response rates is the target.
“Our average response rate tends to be around 45% and we would like to get more than 50%, even though this is high for web-based evaluation,” she explained. “Part of the challenge is that our students get a lot of course evaluations and do not necessarily feel that they will personally benefit if they reply. After each mid-term survey course co-ordinators give feedback on evaluation to their students – and they get a bonus if they do, so this is an incentive-based approach. But overall the feedback from students on the approach we take is very positive.”
Another benefit is that instructors can easily view and control their course evaluations from one tool and, with Blue’s advanced reporting engine, administrators can generate a variety of report types and tailor content for different stakeholders.
“Staff are happy – they are used to our approach to course evaluation, which is largely the same as before we moved to Blue – and it is running smoothly through Canvas,” Christina said. “The most important thing is the whole process is automated: it is nice and easy. Everyone across BTH is using Blue, and everyone gets reports including programme teams and Heads of Department. We also have education leaders who are responsible for a cluster of programmes and because we can see all course evaluation reports in Canvas they can now see patterns emerging across their portfolios.”
Blue also provides support for BTH’s complex courses such as cross-listed, team-taught and courses with different start dates and durations.
The best evaluation experience
Christina added that with Blue fully integrated with the Canvas learning management system she is confident that every course at BTH is getting the best evaluation experience. “It has been a great investment for us, both from a cost and time perspective, because when it is up and running we can rely on the automation – compare this to a system that we have to manage manually and the benefits are clear,” she said. “The customer support team has been very helpful throughout. The implementation team was very good and supportive and now whenever we raise a support ticket we get a quick response. I have recommended Explorance and Blue to half a dozen institutions in Sweden.”
“Having a single sign-on through Canvas, and a course evaluation system that was really easy to connect to, provides a streamlined end-to-end experience for all users.”
Christina Vesterlund Hansson, Assistant Manager (Administration) at Blekinge Institute of Technology
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