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The University of Waikato is committed to offering high quality student learning experiences and to achieving teaching excellence through a process of continuous improvement and professional development. The Evaluations Team supports teaching staff to gather and respond to students’ feedback.

Student feedback provides valuable information, which helps the university to identify teaching strengths, and to make changes in order to improve the teaching and learning experience for current and future students. The University’s Evaluation of Teaching and Papers Policy and Guidelines for the Evaluation of Teaching and Paperemphasise the importance of using a range of evaluation processes to promote excellence and encourage improvement.

If you have any queries about evaluations, in the first instance please contact the Evaluations Team at or by phone (extensions 4341 or 9512).

The new Paper and Teaching evaluation questions have been created to be student focused, while providing the opportunity for students to provide comprehensive feedback on papers offered at the University of Waikato. The changes also include a four-point agree/disagree scale which better suits the questions being asked in this context. Help text to explain the meaning of the questions to students has also been included.


The University recommends frequent evaluation of papers and teaching. Current University of Waikato policy requires that as a minimum all papers are evaluated once every second time the paper is taught.


CLICK the following subject headers to get DETAILS

Paper and Teaching Evaluations

Types of Official Evaluation

BLUE: The UOW’s online evaluation system

Advantages of online evaluation

Timing of Evaluations

Evaluation Reports

FAQs: Using the BLUE online system


Types of official Evaluation

All evaluations are generated automatically using BLUE, the University's web-based, fully automated, evaluating survey system. Paper Convenors are required to conduct a paper evaluation and a teaching evaluation for at least every second occurrence of each paper for which they are responsible. For papers with six or more students enrolled, the Appraisals and Evaluation Team conduct two types of official evaluation:

Evaluation of a paper must include the university’s set of core questions (eight Likert scale questions and two open text comment boxes). The Paper Convenor can customise the evaluation questionnaire by the addition of extra questions. A copy of the current set of core questions for the evaluation of a paper can be downloaded here

Individual teacher evaluations use a core set of university-wide teaching evaluation questions (eight Likert scale questions and two open text comment boxes). A range of optional extra questions allow each teacher to customise a questionnaire to meet the needs of most teaching situations. A copy of the current set of core questions for the evaluation of teaching can be downloaded here

For papers with fewer than six students enrolled, the University’s official paper and teaching evaluation questionnaires are not recommended.  For such small group sizes data may be less reliable and the anonymity of students cannot be assured.  However, if an official evaluation is required such papers can be included on an “opt in” basis; please notify the Appraisals and Evaluation Team at least a week before the start of the Opt Out and Customisation period (see below for key dates). NB: For B Semester 2014 all lecturers listed in Jade as teaching small groups have been sent an email invitation to which they must respond by 26 September

BLUE logo

The University of Waikato’s online evaluation system

The web-based evaluation survey system, BLUE, allows students to provide feedback online and academic staff to receive detailed reports. BLUE offers a straightforward and fully automated evaluation process. To access the BLUE system, click here. For tips on how to encourage students to respond to evaluations, click here.

The default BLUE questionnaires automatically include the University-wide set of approved core questions for the paper and the teaching evaluations. Course convenors and teachers can choose to customise a questionnaire by adding extra items chosen from a drop-down list in BLUE.

Only those members of staff associated with papers in the Jade Student Management System will be included. Please ensure that all teaching occurrences and associated teaching staff have been correctly entered into the Staff Role/Paper Associations Tool (this tool interacts directly with Jade, but it presents a simpler interface).

Advantages of online evaluations

The ability to bypass bottlenecks in paper-based systems (e.g. scanning forms), resulting in faster turnaround times from administering the survey to reporting results.

The convenience for students of being able to type answers and complete surveys at a time of their choosing delivers improvements in student comments to open-ended questions.

The ability to type answers enhances the ability of international students to contribute open ended comments.

Staff time formerly devoted to processing evaluations can focus on other tasks (such as working with teaching staff to improve their feedback ratings!).

Reduced paper results in a “greener” more sustainable system.

TIMING OF EVALUATIONS - 2017 evaluation schedule/timeline, please click here.

End of semester evaluations
End of semester evaluations operate as an “opt out” system. Evaluation questionnaires are generated automatically for all papers and teachers; however, staff can choose to opt out in accordance with the University’s Evaluation of Teaching and Papers Policy. Staff who wish to “opt out” should do so in consultation with the Programme Convenor and/or Chair of Department/School, and with other teaching staff linked to the paper who may wish for it and their teaching to be evaluated.

In addition to the major semester dates the University has a wide range of closing dates for taught papers. To accommodate this range evaluation cycles are conducted in accordance with the paper end dates entered in Jade SMS. During each evaluation cycle questionnaires are generated automatically for clusters of papers with a range of end dates within close proximity.

Paper Convenors will be able to select the dates the evaluation is open to students from within the date range provided. If convenors do not select dates, the system generates an evaluation that is open during the default open period shown in square brackets.

Mid-semester evaluations
Mid-semester evaluations can only be conducted for individual teachers and operate as an “opt in” system. Individuals who teach during the first half of a semester may, following consultation with the paper convenor, request an official mid-semester evaluation in place of the more usual end of semester evaluation. The teacher must notify the Appraisals and Evaluation Team by the end of the second week of semester that a mid-semester evaluation is required. Teachers who opt for a mid-semester individual teacher evaluation, cannot conduct an end of semester individual teacher evaluation. They are still eligible to receive the report for any end of semester evaluation of the paper.

Evaluation Reports

Evaluation reports can only be made available after the Boards of Examiners meeting and once confirmed results are available to students.  Each report includes quantitative data and any qualitative comments produced in response to open-questions.  Staff members will receive and email notifying them when the reports are available.

Frequently Asked Questions

Using the BLUE online system

What if one of the teachers does not want a teaching evaluation set up for this occurrence of the paper? 
Click on the link in the email that asks you whether you want to ‘Opt-out.’ After you are in the BLUE system click on the ‘opt-out’ button next to the teacher’s name who does not want to be appraised. For more information about how to do this click here

How do I add extra questions? 
Click on the link in the email that was sent to you and follow the instructions. If you are still having problems please click here

Can I create a duplicate BLUE questionnaire to use for a different one of my papers?
At the end of the question customisation process, you are able to copy an entire questionnaire. For further information, please click here

I can’t find the email with the link for adding extra questions, can I do this another way? 
Email the Appraisals and EvaluationTeam on and we can arrange for another link to be sent to you. Each link is unique to each person so that sharing your link with other staff should not be done.

How do I make the evaluation happen online? 
The system is set up so that all evaluations are online; there is nothing you have to do.

When will I get the evaluation report?
Reports can only be made available after the Boards of Examiners meeting and once confirmed results are available to students.

I don’t want to add any extra questions. How do I stop getting the reminder emails? 
Click on the link in the email asking you to add extra questions. This will take you into the BLUE system. Scroll down to the end of the page and click on the submit button. This will mean that the task is finished and you will stop getting email reminders.

Does the system allow me to identify the comments made by particular students?
Student responses are not linked to their personal details; so, unless they chose to identify themselves in the comment box responses, no feedback can be linked to a named students.