London, UK – 26 July, 2021 – The University of Worcester has appointed Explorance to provide student module evaluation systems and associated services utilizing the Blue Experience Management (XM) platform, following a competitive tender under the Advanced Procurement for Universities & Colleges (APUC) framework.
The University, which is ranked in the top three in the UK for Quality Education in the Times Higher Education University Impact Rankings, delivers degree programmes to over 10,000 students across nine academic schools.
Why Explorance’s Blue
Carolyn Moir, Student Surveys Manager, explained why Worcester had opted to tender for a new module evaluation systems partner, and why Explorance had been successfully awarded a contract beginning on 1st August 2021.
“Like a lot of institutions, we have been required to do things very differently in the past year,” Carolyn Moir said. “The transition from paper to online – and the shift to rapidly undertaking surveys online – crystalised the need to have a strong online presence in surveys. We have undertaken more surveys this year, with both students and staff, which we want to do and do quickly.”
“This is something we were in the process of looking at anyway,” Caroline Moir notes. “However, the pandemic has highlighted just how important it is to have instant feedback from students and staff. We also had a strong desire to integrate this with our VLE, which Explorance’s Blue does, and help us to close the feedback loop, which again Blue will deliver for us.”
A Successful Use of APUC Framework
Carolyn Moir explained that the University went through the APUC framework because “what we needed now is different to what we wanted at the time of appointing our previous supplier. We can manage Blue from a central point and allow elements of delivery in schools. Module leaders are able to control when surveys are run, add personalised questions and decide how they feed back to students. It is a far more integrated system than they have been used to and gives everyone more oversight. It will allow students the best opportunity to respond to surveys and offer their personalised view, but also provide module leaders with valuable information for teaching and learning, which is not always easy to get from core questions that we as a central team want to ask.”
The University of Worcester will also run its Course Evaluation Survey, which is open to all first and second year students, plus any final-year students who have previously completed the National Student Survey (NSS), through Blue. The University plans to explore the use of Pulse surveys with students through the Blue system too.
“Blue will help to support our understanding and maintain oversight over key annual evaluations as part of our academic cycle,” Carolyn Moir revealed. “Module or course leaders already use the data emerging from our surveys and engage with it, but with Blue they will be able to look at trends going forward and the ‘big picture’ through the feedback dashboard. They can assess the health of the module/course, and better understand how new courses are shaping up by capturing student feedback more effectively. Now everything is online we are expecting even stronger engagement with the survey process.”
Professor David Green CBE, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive, said: “High-quality teaching has always been at the very heart of the University of Worcester, with students as co-creators of their educational experience and success. The University is committed to being an inclusive and outstanding place at which to be a student. Obtaining student views on their experience, entering into a dialogue about how enhancements can be achieved, and making use of measures of success and satisfaction are all fundamental to the achievement of this commitment. Our Module Evaluation Policy sets our very clearly the purpose to enhance the student learning experience in order to make continuous improvements to levels of student satisfaction, engagement and student success. We are looking forward to working with Explorance to obtain student views on their learning experience through module evaluation, and through other surveys, including with our staff.”
Explorance in the UK
In the UK, Explorance also provides the following institutions with its Blue or Bluepulse software: Aberdeen, Birkbeck – University of London, Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff, Coventry, Durham, Glasgow Caledonian, Kingston, Liverpool John Moores, Loughborough, Nottingham Trent, Northumbria, Sheffield, Strathclyde and the University of Law. In 2019 Explorance was appointed by APUC to a multi-supplier UK education sector framework for the supply of student module evaluation systems and associated services to HE and FE institutions of Scotland. The framework agreement is also open to member institutions within the UK universities procurement consortia meaning that they too can use the framework and have the option to appoint Explorance directly as the number one ranked supplier through APUC.
John Atherton, General Manager – Europe and Africa, at Explorance, commented on the appointment of Explorance: “We are absolutely delighted to win this tender having scored the highest across a range of measures including development, distribution, feedback, reporting and integration capabilities. The University of Worcester is committed to enhancing and developing student survey management across the institution, as well as increasing engagement with staff, and we are extremely pleased to be working with them to address this strategic need.”
About the University of Worcester
Ranked in the Top 3 for Quality Education for the last three years – 2019, 2020 and 2021 – the University of Worcester is a highly-regarded public research university located in Worcester, UK. The University has the distinction of being named as the No.1 University in England for Gender Equality, with an aim to “strive to help people of all backgrounds and abilities to achieve their own rich potential.”
General Manager – Europe & Africa
Blue•Higher education•Student Experience Management•Student feedback•Surveys•