Robust Product with Excellent Support
We use Blue to manage the course evaluation process across the entire university. I am one of about a dozen users who each manage an individual school within the university. Mine is the largest (comprising about 60% of courses offered and closer to 75% of courses evaluated).
Our university has been using Blue for about three years now. We chose this software after negative experiences with our last vendor, and we were specifically looking for something that could provide all of the below:
1) Automated data feed from our student information system (SIS) to Blue.
2) Customization for each school using the software.
3) Unified email messaging (one email per student per school regardless of number of courses involved).
4) Ability to handle large and complex questionnaires with built in triggering to ask the right questions for each individual course and instructor.
5) Ability to customize opening and closing dates for evaluations down to the course level.
6) Ability to manage both mid-term and end-of-course evaluations.
7) Ability to evaluate multiple instructors for a single course with a seamless experience for students (course and all instructors on a single questionnaire) and automatic distribution of data to separate reports per instructor (all receive course responses but each sees only their instructor responses).
I am the most advanced user on our campus, both based on training and based on the extensiveness with which I use the software. For most users here, the cour
The robust amount of features.
Ability to copy setup from one term to the next.
Ability to extensively customize evaluation process.
Ability to correct an error, add a course, or otherwise update data after evaluations have started.
Commitment of Explorance to improving the software based on customer feedback.
Variety of training options and levels, including customer and Explorance staff led monthly webinars.
High learning curve for new users.
Some of the limitations in reporting (less direct control of size/layout of displayed graphics, inability to do certain calculations in export to excel reports).
Blue Course Evaluation
Our organization is with Explorance since 2009-2010. It has been a long journey and demonstrates the product effectiveness to us. We have been extensively using BLUE for feedback surveys, commonly, for us as well, the most important survey is the course evaluation survey. We have been conveniently deploying the course evaluation survey to the students and then successfully publishing the reports to the relevant faculty accessible online. Our overall experience is extremely satisfactory with this product in terms of what it generally offers, and in particular with its excellent customer support center and people, who are 24/7 ready and available to answer and resolve customers' queries.
It's ease of use. Additionally, it is very handy to publish the course evaluations to the students, which I reckon is the most desirable feature to the Higher Education Institutions. BLUE gives one a robust control over the project even after it is published, it smartly and intelligently allows the users to handle the project subjects (courses) and members (instructors). Apart from the course evaluations one can conveniently execute and publish hundreds of feedback surveys to the intended audience privately or publicly. Report creating features using the survey response data are excellent and are sufficient enough to suffice the institutional reporting features. The most valuable thing is there customer support - no doubt it's one of the best I have ever experienced, staff responsiveness and effectively resolving the queries is unmatchable.
There is nothing such as the least one. Instead, I believe that there is always a room for improvement, in this era of Business Intelligence. Explorance understands, knows and has always been continuously endeavouring to optimally improve its product to address the market and customer needs.
the software has a steep learning curve; not intuitively obvious.
it does everything I need it to do, and fairly conveniently.
It has many functionalities - supposedly, once set up, a "one touch" and it does everything for you, which is true. It is hard to accidentally make a mistake -- that is, it just won't work, rather than working incorrectly. Tech support is good, although their communication style is a bit hard to get used to.
Even now that I am very familiar with it, I still often have to check with tech support about one thing or another. I don't like the report , and I wish it could be more customizable. I am the only one who knows how to use it, and to show its quirks to another would be difficult.
So far so good
My overall experience is good, the adoption of Blue has since alerted me that the university needs to rethink its filing systems like linking people to departments and modules that they teaching. This will in turn makes reporting on academic activities easy and enhance alignment with the university's teaching community.
At the University of Johannesburg (UJ) we began using Blue Course Evaluation this year, 2019 after a trial in 2018. Compare to our previous Course Evaluation mechanism, Blue is in a class of its own. Personally, I like the fact that it is simply to manage once it is set up, it organizes the whole evaluation experience. For example, after loading an evaluation, a lecturer can track the progress of his/her evaluation, have an accurate number of students enrolled in the programme, how many have completed the survey, how many in progress and how many still outstanding. With this information one can work towards improving the response rate. Linked with the University's ITS system, the data is very accurate as only registered students can complete the evaluation. Blue does not only provide course feedback, the system can do way more. For example like providing depth analysis as to which browser used, when the evaluation was completed, the channel used. This information is helpful because we get to know what needs to be done for students to respond positively and to improve so to get constructive feedback from these evaluations.
Setting up Blue Course Evaluation is not easy. It needs lots of system and information which the university had but not organized in a manner that Blue wanted it. Currently, we do not have a data base that links academic staff to the module that they teach. Without this information there was a little bit of confusion and we ended linking wrong people to modules as we relied on Blackboard information. Perhaps Blue must have a ready made template which institutions can used to sort their data before administration of Blue. This will help as institutions have their own filling systems which are sometimes in conflict with Blue requirements.
Blue - 1st Rate Survey Software!
The University of Louisville (UofL) has used Blue Enterprise Surveys since February 2008. It is a pleasure to work with eXplorance. The customer support team is outstanding and support staff members are truly interested in helping the customer get the most benefit from their product. The survey software is easy to use. The overall quality of application is 1st rate and a welcome improvement over products used previously. The reports are easily customized with many options from which to select. Blue Surveys has all of the features UofL needs to send hundreds of surveys each year. UofL uses Blue Surveys to gauge campus climate, assess student satisfaction, request feedback regarding events on campus, gather information from faculty and staff who exit the university, and much, much more. With all of the features in Blue, the surveying possibilities are endless. Blue Surveys completely integrates with other platforms (such as Blackboard, PeopleSoft, Canvas, Moodle, Banner, etc.) to provide a seamless integration with existing business practices, allowing users to leverage data stored in other databases. Mobile device compatibility makes providing feedback easier and more convenient than ever before. Blue Surveys is definitely a great value.
The product is easy to use, has many great features, and integrates with existing platforms. eXplorance as a company listens to the needs of their customers. The ability to customize the "look and feel" of the interface by using our own logos allows us to customize the experience for each user. The response rate monitor allows users the ability to track the day of the week and hour of the day that responses are received so marketing efforts and automatic reminders can be scheduled for maximum impact. The "drag and drop" user interface allows for quick survey creation and administration.
Exemplary Customer Service Supporting Impressive Software
The Customer Service and Support are extraordinary and have taken a novice user to advanced with their comprehensive training, knowledge base, as well as ongoing engagement with the product and community of users. It is a solid company with exceptional products.
The Blue Course Evaluation tool is mobile friendly and multi-platform, as well as very intuitive for end-users. The surveys can be executed and accessed in multiple ways, and those being asked to respond report very few access issues. It works! The Customer Service and Support are extraordinary.
The admin. side can be clunky, with essential safeguards restricting auto-updates and often multi-step changes if project needs modification after publishing. These are avoidable if you do the work before you publish, but this is often not feasible.
Customer support is very responsive. Coming from a technical background, I found it easy to use.
I like the updates CS/Support implements in a quick manner. Responsive to bugs in updates. System can easily handle thousands of requests. Responsive and easy to use for end user.
Wish it had more transparency in the timing of emails (export .csv showing when task emails would be sent, since likely stored in a DB somewhere). Can be tricky at times to implement changes during a published project (manual changes do not impact the DB, wish manual changes could override the DB but I understand why it is not coded that way). Wish some text fields could be modifiable (e.g. "Please select datasource", other technical/vague terms displayed to end users). Would love IE to be better supported (do not recommend this browser, but unfortunately users still use it)
Blue is a multi-dimensional course evaluation tool that can be scaled to work for any institution.
Ability to schedule automatic report openings and closings based on dynamic date rules--like open at 60% of the semester and close reports at 90% of semester.
The customizable solution will adapt to any institution's need... even to different scenarios within the same institution. The automatic report generation at the end of the survey was a must-have for us.
Difficult to set up for the first time... even with the help of the trainers. It takes a lot of time. The additional company trainings are expensive, and after two years, our team doesn't feel like we are capable of building new reports on our own.
Blue Evaluation software
Actually, The overall experience is very good. In my Organization, we have managed to receive enough feedback from the students and we make changes to the course as well as the teacher based on the feedback received from our students.
I like the way it is quick, and I can easily track the progress of the students who responded to the survey and those who did not respond.
I like also the way I can send any information as the email to the group of students assigned to any task.
Sometimes it is challenging to wait for the system to be synchronized. This is a serious issue when it comes to the time I may choose to block the course of the students who do not respond to the evaluations, and when some of them see the course blocked and they respond the survey, I takes me again to be informed and synchronize manually, which I think it could be automated, because in case I am busy in other tasks, It can be a challenge for the students who filled the evaluations to get access on the Canvas page (for my case as we use Canvas).
Blue is excellent for delivery of course evaluations that can be highly customized and automated.
Fabulous software vendor, flawless delivery to students, mobile friendly, ada compliant, great performance, hosting, great customer support.
The report interface to create customized reports from scratch is not intuitive for novice users. I think the upcoming changes in this area in the next version will address these concerns.
Administered course evals for many programs, including low-literacy and immigrant populations.
Transitioning from paper scanning and online survey providers to a professional outfit specifically intended for course evaluations was an overall positive experience. While there are some pain points, without question the implementation of Blue was a time saver for our team.
UI improvements were prioritized by eXplorance. The interface improved dramatically in my time using the software, becoming more intuitive over time. Though a lot of the complex functionality may only be easily navigable by power users, the support staff typically did a fine job of providing walkthroughs, phone support, and email instructions as needed.
Customer support was also invaluable for working through all the "ifs" and "buts" of our student population. Working with a range of literacy levels and familiarity with English language - as well as different course types like labs, practicums, continuing education, etc. - we needed frequent support and check-ins and were always able to reach a successful outcome.
I get they are an 'online first' company and a software above all else, but I was disappointed by Blue's inability to reliably process and integrate data from paper forms. They used a third party software (ABBYY) to generate forms, and no matter how meticulously our printer was calibrated, there were always problems in the scanning and upload into Blue. Because it was third party, Blue did not provide support for this process and could not refer us to someone at ABBYY. We ended up processing our (thankfully limited number of) paper forms manually.
With eXplorances support we have been able to integrate Blue with BB and Banner successfully.
The ability to have a completely integrated course evaluation process for the entire university including credit and non-credit courses.
eXplorance listens to our institutions needs and requirements and is continuously modifying and updating their products to be more useful. The software is evolving and has kept base with the changes in the market.
The learning curve at the beginning is very steep. The software is not as intuitive as other products on the market. Having said that, it also can do more complicated survey design than the competitors.
In general, the experience has been very good, we are an institute of higher education and it has solved us very well the subject of evaluations of courses and teachers.
The use of predesigned templates to generate evaluations, the use of question banks and data bases in an agile way, the generation of questionnaires in a simple way, the good quality of the generated reports, non complex administration.
Sometimes it is a little complicated to navigate between the options of the application, also sometimes it is not very intuitive.
Blue Course Evaluations
Blue has assisted our PSI to reduce the number of survey platforms and move closer to automated survey processes.
I like the feautures that allow instructors to change survey dates and add their custom questions. As well, having the widget in the LMS for both students and instructors seems well used when reviewing the analytics in the response management tab.
Not having a test environment when integrating and installing the Data Sync Tool.
The naming conventions take quite a bit of time and effort to bwecome familair with and that lengthened the learning curve for administrators and end users.
Awesome features and value for money. Very user friendly user experience.
Parents are very happy to see their kids data in their mobile, hence very useful for school. And performance management tool helps me a lot
Ease to use and what you need is handy. Performance management tool is very useful for decesion making and makes my day to day life easy
Hardly see any thing which I don't like. May be some new features integration like inventory management would be useful
Response from eXplorance
Thank you Sanjay for your review. You may have entered the review about Blue when you intended to review another product. Sincerely,
Centralizing Course Evaluations in Higher Education
Blue has really taken control and revolutionised the process of evaluations for us. We are continually expanding the types of evaluations that we complete and consider future uses.
We took a very decentralised system that had no quality control and centralised the whole system within Explorance Blue. We can now ensure that the right people get the right evaluations to inform the University executive of the feelings of the students on the courses that they take.
It isn't an easy software to get to grips with so you need a dedicated team (at least two) who can support each other.
The blue survey/360 review features are excellent, the customer support team is exceptional.
Blue is a great product and eXplorance is a great vendor.
This is a great product to utilize for course reviews that need to be completed for students.
I love that this software provides easy access to gain a lot of data from students to improve the way professors approach their teaching techniques.
I like that students can easily answer multiple questions about their experience in a course so that faculty can implement changes towards their approach to teaching students to improve their success.
Sometimes it is very easy for a student to just answer the whole assessment without them actually completing it. I would recommend that each section, or every few questions, the assessment response options are changed to keep students aware of what they are completing.
data steward's review of Blue
Blue is a great software; I wish I had more time to use it to it's full potential. Unfortunately, it's only role in my daily life is to calculate what I need tabulated without effort or worry. It does that for me.
The people behind it.
What i like least about the software is what others might love the most--that it is a lego type platform. You build it from the ground up--nothing comes prefab. I don't like this because I'm usually to busy to start things from the ground up, and I rarely do the kind of specialized analysis that would come from a uniquely defined system.
Great HR support system
Always do your research, many times something this can be done in house. This all depends on your HR staff and your goal. Otherwise i'd recommend it.
The great thing about Blue is that you have various ways of using it. You can use it as an HR tool when doing completely wide evaluations on anything from employee wellbeing to overall company wellness.
It does take a bit to learn all the functions and depending on the individual this could be an easy or hard endeavor either or its a great tool.
Very adaptable product
There are so many adaptations and 'flexibilities' to the product that it isn't 'ready' just 'out of the box.' However, the software can be adapted to fit your specific needs so it works like a custom tool for your institution.
Complex set-up and huge learning curve to software
eXplorance took us to the next level with Blue!
Having developed, used and maintained a custom-built application that was fine for the requirements that were understood at the time (12 years ago), our organization was faced with the prospect of a significant investment to take this solution to the next level for the decade to come.
In selecting eXplorance as our strategic partner, in Blue we have a true solution that has taken our capability to the next level. It is user friendly with ongoing (minor) enhancements made that reflect customer feedback, it is adaptable to a wide range of data collection, analytics and reporting needs, and we have a wide range of Fortune 500 stakeholders who appreciate the modern look, feel and logic of their new interface.
We are very happy with this product - it has truly removed manual processes and enabled our time to be focused on the truly value adding post survey exercise of analysis discussions.
We've found Blue to be a superior product and Explorance a supportive company.
1. Ease of setup. We have multiple projects running each term.
2. Great UI. Students love it.
3. Robust system. No uptime problems at all; no crashes.
1. We wish it was easier to change some things within an open project.
2. More email options.
3. It would be great if we could push texts to supplement our emails.