Faculty Guide

Feedback from students in the form of course evaluations offers valuable insights for making changes and improving classes.

Explore answers to common faculty questions about the course-evaluation process.

General Questions

Starting in Summer 2017, PNW began using Blue by eXplorance to conduct course evaluations.  Blue is a powerful evaluation platform that is being used by many higher education institutions to evaluate more than 1 million courses per year.

  1. Login to https://pnw.bluera.com/pnw/ with your Purdue Northwest credentials (if prompted, choose “Users” as your data source).
  2. Follow the links included in email communications to access your course evaluation tasks (adding questions, monitoring response rates, viewing results).
  3. Access the Purdue Northwest Course Evaluation modules within Brightspace. Click on “Course Evaluations” in the “Course Tools” drop down menu.

Please send any questions to course_evaluations@pnw.edu.

Survey Instruments/Questions

During the 2016-2017 academic year, a faculty committee drafted new course evaluation questions for a unified PNW course evaluation. The five scaled items and one open-ended item that will be included in all PNW course evaluations are listed below:

COURSE ITEMS (asked once per course)

  1. The course was well organized to promote my learning.
  2. I knew what was expected of me in this course.

INSTRUCTOR ITEMS (asked once for each instructor, if multiple course instructors)

  1. The instructor promoted a supportive learning environment.
  2. The instructor provided useful feedback that helped me learn.
  3. The teaching methods used by the instructor helped me learn.



During the time when you can add additional questions to your survey, you can also preview all questions included in your course evaluation survey to see exactly what your students will see. To preview your survey, click the “Preview Questionnaire” button. You will need to register responses and click the “Next” button through the screens to see all questions (the responses you submit will NOT be included in your results).

Because new questions for a unified PNW course evaluation were drafted by a faculty committee, the 8 core questions historically used by the Hammond campus and the 6 core questions historically used by the Westville campus will NOT be automatically added to your course evaluation survey.

Faculty can add questions during a limited timeframe before surveys become available to students.

You will receive an email notifying you when you can add additional questions and providing a link to complete the task.

You can also access the link to add additional questions through Brightspace or by logging into https://pnw.bluera.com/pnw/ with your Purdue Northwest credentials (if prompted, choose the “Users” data source).

Survey Administration

Only instructors marked as the “Primary” instructor in Banner will be automatically set for evaluation.

If additional instructors need to be evaluated for a given course with a unique CRN, please contact your department.

Students will not be able to complete an evaluation for a course from which they have withdrawn or been dropped.

Once the course evaluations are live to students, you will receive email communications with a link to monitor your response rates.

You can also monitor your response rates through Brightspace. Login to Brightspace and click on “Course Evaluations” in the “Course Tools” drop-down menu to access your course response rates.

You can also monitor your response rates in real-time by logging into https://pnw.bluera.com/pnw/with your Purdue Northwest credentials (if prompted, select “Users” as the data source).

No.  You are not able to tell which specific students have or have not completed the course evaluation. Instead, you will be told how many students and the corresponding percentage of your class enrollment have completed the course evaluation. You are able to monitor response rates in real-time while surveys are available to students.

  • Communicate with students – Let them know when the course evaluations will be available and encourage them to complete them. Remind them that they can access their course evaluations in Brightspace and through the link they received via email.
  • Give students class time to complete course evaluation – The new system offers mobile delivery allowing you to have students complete the course evaluation on a mobile device during a class session. Plan a specific class session during the survey availability window when you will ask students to complete the survey. Ask students to bring a mobile device to that class session and give them 15 minutes of the class session to complete it (much like was done previously with the paper-and-pencil course evaluations).
  • Create value for students – Explain to students why their input and feedback are valuable to you and how you will use them to make changes and improvements to the class.

Student Experience

The evaluation schedule is determined by the course end date listed in Banner.

Full semester (16-week) course evaluations run the last 2 weeks of the semester (prior to finals week). Evaluations for shorter parts of the term begin on the Monday of the last week of class and continue throughout the following week after the class ends.

There are several ways that students will know that the course evaluation survey is ready for them to complete.

  1. Students will receive an email to their PNW email account with the link to the survey.
  2. When students log in to Brightspace, a pop-up box will appear with a link to the survey when the evaluation is available. Students can also click on “Course Evaluations” in the “Course Tools” drop-down menu to access their evaluations.
  3. Faculty can communicate with students in class as to the survey dates.
  4. If possible, faculty can give students time to complete in class.
  • Students should look for an email addressed from “Course Evaluations” (course_evaluations@pnw.edu)
  • Subject line for the initial message: “Course Evaluations now available – Please complete today!”
  • Subject line for reminder message: “Tell them what you think – Complete your course evaluations NOW”
  • Subject line for final reminder message: “Last chance – Complete your Course Evaluations TODAY!”

Students will receive 2 reminder messages throughout the evaluation timeframe. Once students complete their course evaluations, they will not receive reminder messages.


Course sections that are cross-listed in Banner will be cross-listed in the course evaluation system as well. The results of cross-listed sections will be combined into a single course evaluation report.

Course sections that are not cross-listed in Banner but which should have a single course evaluation report including results from multiple sections can be “merged” in the course evaluation system. Please contact your department to request that course sections be merged.

Yes, your Department/Unit Head will receive a copy of the individual course report as well as an aggregate report of evaluation data for the courses in their unit(s).

For the summer 2017 semester and beyond, your results will be available to you online by logging into https://pnw.bluera.com/pnw/ with your Purdue Northwest credentials (if prompted, select “Users” as the data source). You will receive an email notification with a direct link to your results when they are available for you to view.

You can access your evaluation results through Brightspace. Login to Brightspace and click on “Course Evaluations” in the “Course Tools” drop-down menu to access your course evaluation reports.

Course evaluation reports will be available 48 hours after final grades have been submitted (or the first business day that the campus is open after that date).

You will receive an email notification when the course evaluation results are ready to view.

Faculty will see the evaluation results as long as there is at least 1 response.

Emily Hixon, Professor of Education and Director of the Center for Faculty Development and Leadership, is available to assist faculty with interpreting their course evaluation results.

You will have access to a PDF file of the report for each course you teach which you can print. You are also strongly encouraged to save your course evaluation reports in your electronic files.

Course evaluation reports from summer 2017 through the current semester can be accessed in the following ways:

  • Click the direct link in email communications
  • Login to https://pnw.bluera.com/pnw with Purdue Northwest credentials
  • Access through Brightspace (Click “Course Evaluations” in the “Course Tools” drop-down menu)

If you are looking for evaluation reports from a semester prior to summer 2017, please reach out to Institutional Research. In your request, please include the year, semester (spring, summer, or fall), and course name, number, and CRN if available, for each report.

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