Academic Operational Policies

Subject: Surveys Number:  AOP 238
Issued by: Vice-President Academic Date Issued:  September 2016
Supersedes: N/A Page:  1 of 1

Student Learning Experience Survey – AOP 237

Student Learning Experience Survey – Rationale and Suggested Interpretation Guide



1. Introduction and Purpose 

Apart from the academic research conducted by Loyalist College faculty, Loyalist participates in a number of surveys used to gather data from and about Loyalist’s applicants, students, alumni, faculty, staff and community. The increasing requirement – internally and externally – for gaining information about stakeholder experiences, and measuring outcomes, has resulted in an ongoing need for surveys. Analyzing survey results and trending, helps to inform future practices, therefore, it is essential that survey results be reliable and meaningful. An increasing number of surveys has the potential to reduce their reliability if they repeatedly target audiences. Audiences begin to experience “survey fatigue”.  

The purpose of this policy is to coordinate College surveys, ensure the integrity and efficiency of surveys conducted at Loyalist College to: 

  • Promote good survey design and methodology 
  • Facilitate communications of survey results to the Loyalist College community 
  • Avoid collections of duplicate information 
  • Reduce “survey fatigue” 

2. Application 

College surveys include any broad sampling or census of a population of Loyalist College stakeholders that involves direct requests to individuals for information. College surveys also include any broad sampling of the external community regarding their need or use of College services. College surveys may be addressed to any constituents of the College community. College surveys may also include surveys managed by outside agencies but addressed to campus groups. 

The category of College surveys as referred to in this policy does not include small scale surveys with a particular focused intent such as focus group polls within a course, evaluations of an event and surveys by a labour union of its own members. 

If you are unsure whether your survey falls under the scope of the College survey policy, please contact the Research Services Office. 

Grand-parented Surveys: 

  • First-Year Student Survey 
  • Student Government Survey 
  • Noel Levitz College Student Inventory 
  • Noel Levitz College Mid-Year Student Survey 
  • Student Learning Experience Survey 
  • Key Performance Indicators 
  • End of Year Survey 
  • “Who are you, and why have you joined us?” Biosciences Survey 

Continuing Education Surveys: 

  • ECE/DSW Distance 
  • OntarioLearn 
  • Summer Arts 
  • Kids Camps 

3. Policy  

The coordination of College surveys is the responsibility of the Institutional Research Subcommittee. Committee members include: 

  • Research Services Office representative 
  • a dean 
  • an academic manager 
  • Chair of the Institutional Research Subcommittee 
  • a representative from the Office of the Registrar 
  • a representative from the Career Services Office 
  • Director of Marketing and Communications  

3.1 Mandate 

The mandate of this committee it to: 

  • Recommend policy and process improvements related to College surveys 
  • Receive and consider applications for permissions to conduct College surveys 
  • Refer College survey applications as required to the Research Ethics Board (REB) 
  • Maintain a current database outlining the number and timing of surveys each academic semester 
  • Assess the effectiveness of approved surveys once completed
  • Report annually to the Office of the Senior Vice-President Academic 

 4. Process 

An individual or group wishing to conduct a broad survey, or having responsibility for managing all or part of an external survey, should complete an application to the Institutional Survey Committee for permissions to proceed with the survey. 

The application will include: 

  • Source and context of the survey 
  • Issue to be addressed 
  • Data to be collected 
  • Target population 
  • Methodology
  • How data will be used and results communicated
  • How the data will be stored/destroyed

The assessment criteria for College surveys include: 

  • Alignment with Loyalist College Strategic Plan 
  • Design of the survey 
  • Extent to which other surveys could supply the required data 
  • Benefits to the College community of conducting the survey 

5. References