Course Experience Survey (CES)

The Course Experience Survey (CES) is an online tool that allows the University of Victoria to hear about the student learning experience. By compiling the information submitted in the CES, the university is able to gather feedback and comments on courses and instructors to help improve the student experience. If you would like to learn more about the CES from a student's perspective, please visit the student CES resources page.

The following are some simple answers to commonly asked questions regarding the CES. Feel free to look through the FAQs below if you would like more detailed information.

  • Include the CES syllabus statement in your syllabus, explain the importance of the CES at the beginning of the semester and before the CES opens at the end of the course (usually the last two weeks for a full term course). For the best results, treat the online CES as you would the paper version and give students time IN CLASS to complete the survey.
  • Instructors and students can access their CES dashboard with their Netlink ID and password at ces.uvic.ca.
  • Your CES reports will not be released until grades have been submitted and finalized by your department. Once grades have been finalized, it can take up to 3 days for the data to be picked up by the system.
  • Chairs and deans reports for tenured instructors do NOT include qualitative data but the reports for sessional instructors do.
  • To maintain student anonymity there must be at least five students per CRN to receive a CES. This includes cross-listed courses (each CRN must have at least five students).

How can students access the CES if they didn't receive an email?

If your students have not received an email they can directly link to their CES dashboard. They will be asked to sign in using their secure UVic Netlink ID and password and then be directed to open their evaluations.

What should I tell my students about the new method for completing CES surveys?

Emphasize the importance of their responses to you, the department, and university leadership in improving and sustaining the quality of academic programs. Be sure to include the CES as an activity in your course syllabus/outline. Stress the confidentiality of the results and that they are available to you in aggregate form only after final grades have been submitted. For more tips on keeping response rates up, please refer to Tips for response rates in the next tab  and Syllabus Statement.

How do I actually conduct the CES?

Remind students about the CES two weeks before the evaluation period. At the beginning of the class on the day you will be conducting the CES, provide students the CES link, ces.uvic.ca, show them how to access the CES on their devices, remind them of the confidentiality of their responses, and leave the classroom for about 15 minutes for them to complete the CES. This is the recommended approach since it signals (by taking class time) that you value their responses. Students can be asked to complete the surveys on their own time, but this will likely result in lower response rates.

Does the new CES system allow me to ask additional questions?

The new CES system allows a faculty to add up to five personalized questions, the results of which will be included in the summary report prepared for the course. Suggestions for new or additional questions should made to the appropriate department.

Who will have access to the CES results of my course?

If you are a faculty member you will receive your qualitative and quantitative feedback. Your chair/director or dean will receive all quantitative results. However, they will only receive the qualitative written comments if you choose to send them to them. If you are a sessional or continuing sessional instructor, your chair/director or dean will have access to both your qualitative and your quantitative comments.

Why have my reports not all come at once for last term? Why did I get some reports and not others?

We run the CES reports at intervals. Your grades must be in for your report to be released to you. If your grades were not recorded in the system before the run occurred you will not receive your report until the next run.

Advice to Instructors regarding keeping your response rates high with UVic’s New Course Experience Survey (CES) system

As of summer 2014, the Course Evaluation Survey (CES) system is completely online.

You no longer have to use CES forms in class and then deliver them to the department office. You will not have to concern yourself with those students who did not attend class on that day, as all students will receive automatic online reminders and will have the means to access the CES online until the last day of class.

One area in which you can make a big difference is on the student response rates. Below are some suggestions to help to keep response rates high in your course.

Mention the CES in your syllabus

In your course syllabus, have a section in which you mention the CES, indicate its importance and include the links required to access the CES online. (If all instructors would do this, it would provide strong reinforcement for student participation in the CES process.)

Remind students, show them how to access the CES

As the end of term approaches, remind students that a CES will be conducted. Refer them to the section in your course syllabus that describes the CES. Remind students to bring their electronic devices with them to class for use in completing the survey. For first year or foundation courses it is worth taking the time the week before to show students how such devices can be used. Ask if any students will have trouble accessing the system due to technology constraints. Ask them if there are options for them or alternate plans they might make.

Explain importance of CES, give class time to complete

On the day scheduled for the CES, allow time at the beginning of class for its completion. Describe again why the CES is important and how you would use the aggregate feedback. Emphasize again that individual responses are confidential and not available until after grades have been submitted. Show students how to access the relevant CES using their devices and then leave the classroom for about 15 minutes to allow for completion of the CES in your absence.

Remind students to complete CES before close date

Remind students at the beginning of subsequent classes to complete the CES if they have not already done so, or if they were not present on the day it was conducted. Indicate that the system will be sending email reminders to non-responders to complete the CES, which will stop once completed.

Suggested CES Statement for an Instructor’s Syllabus/Course Outline

Developed by the CES Faculty Advisory Committee, August 2014

Course Experience Survey (CES)

I value your feedback on this course. Towards the end of term you will have the opportunity to complete a confidential course experience survey (CES) regarding your learning experience. The survey is vital to providing feedback to me regarding the course and my teaching, as well as to help the department improve the overall program for students in the future. When it is time for you to complete the survey, you will receive an email inviting you to do so. If you do not receive an email invitation, you can go directly to your CES dashboard. You will need to use your UVic NetLink ID to access the survey, which can be done on your laptop, tablet or mobile device. I will remind you nearer the time but please be thinking about this important activity, especially the following three questions, during the course.

  1. What strengths did your instructor demonstrate that helped you learn in this course?
  2. Please provide specific suggestions as to how the instructor could have helped you learn more effectively.
  3. Please provide specific suggestions as to how this course could be improved.

CES Close Date Change Request Form

The CES Faculty Advisory Committee, which reports to Senate, has recommended that in very unusual circumstances exceptions may be made to the period during which CES forms may be completed by students. These exceptions are for special instances during the Summer Session when the final exam is administered BEFORE THE LAST DAY OF CLASS AS LISTED IN BANNER.

For example, a final exam is administered on Wednesday, during regular class time, but Friday is usually a lab. Banner will show Friday as the last day of class. The duration of the survey will not change (it is generally a period of time equivalent to one sixth of the course), however the dates may be changed to allow students to complete the CES before the final exam. All other senate-mandated rules remain (e.g., students cannot complete the form after they have their final grades, results may not be submitted to the instructor before grades are in, etc).

If you need to make a change to the close date of the CES for a course, please complete and submit this form.

CES Start and End Date Change Request Form

The CES Faculty Advisory Committee, which reports to Senate, has recommended that in very unusual circumstances exceptions may be made to the period during which CES forms may be completed by students. These exceptions are for special instances when student access to the CES is difficult and therefore the survey dates should be adjusted to enable completion of the survey.

For example, students who are on a field course may not have access to technology to complete the online survey until they return. The duration of the survey will not change (it is generally a period of time equivalent to one sixth of the course), however the dates may be changed to accommodate students. All other senate-mandated rules remain (e.g., students cannot complete the form after they have their final grades, results may not be submitted to the instructor before grades are in, etc).

If you need to make a change to the start and end dates of the CES for a course, please complete and submit this form.

CES Zero Credit Exemption Request Form

The CES Faculty Advisory Committee, which reports to Senate, has recommended that some zero credit courses may be granted an exemption from the CES.

For example, some courses are required but do not have credits associated with them in Banner and are lacking components usually associated with the CES. All other senate-mandated rules remain (e.g., students cannot complete the form after they have their final grades, results may not be submitted to the instructor before grades are in, etc).

If you need to request an exemption from the CES for a zero credit course, please complete and submit this form.