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What is SOIQS Online?

SOIQS Online is a paperless version of the Student Opinion of Instructional Quality Survey (SOIQS). Currently running on a limited scale. SOIQS Online was first implemented in the Fall 2013 term and continues to this day. Subject areas and sections eligible to participate in the pilot are FSA part-time courses of at least four weeks in duration, with only one primary instructor.

In the Winter 2015 term, the following PTS subject areas are participating:

  • School of Computing and Academic Studies: FSCT, COMP

A major objective of the SOIQS Online pilot project is to prepare recommendations for full-scale implementation. We’re assessing the feasibility of integrating an online SOIQS system with BCIT’s existing business processes and data and technical structures. We’re learning as we go, identifying additional requirements as we encounter them.

For an instructor FAQ, please see the FAQ page.

Woman standing in front of a chalkboard with equations, and another woman seated at a computer.

What are the benefits of SOIQS Online?

SOIQS Online supports BCIT’s green initiative and aligns with BCIT’s strategic objectives, as well as with industry standards. It also reduces dependence on limited time and resources, including paper and postage.
What’s more, stakeholders will benefit from SOIQS Online as follows:

  • Program assistants will spend less time administering the online version than they do with the current paper-based survey.
  • Students will be able to complete surveys on their mobile device or computer when it’s convenient for them, freeing up more time for classroom learning. They’ll also have more time to write detailed comments to open-ended questions.
  • Instructors and managers will have better access to survey results, because surveys will be processed more quickly.
  • Administrators will experience fewer manual processes, greater ease of reporting, and increased quality assurance.

How does SOIQS Online work?

For participating classes, SOIQS Online replaces paper surveys. If your class is selected, here’s what you can expect:

  1. At the beginning of the term, schools notify instructors of their specific sections’ participation in SOIQS Online.
  2. Instructors receive an automated email advising them that their students will be surveyed in ten days.
  3. Eight days before the end of the course students receive an invitation to participate in SOIQS Online. (At this time, instructors will be notified that the student emails have been sent.)
  4. Students receive a survey reminder three days after the survey invitation.
  5. Two to three weeks after course end, instructors receive detailed reports and student comments by email, and associate deans receive summary manager reports to distribute to managers.
  6. Survey results are reported in accordance with the FSA Collective Agreement, the same way that paper-based surveys are.

The truth about online surveys, and how you can help

Online surveys tend to have lower response rates. Based on what we learned last term, the feedback we received, and industry best practices, we’ve made several improvements, including sending pre-survey notifications to instructors and reminders to students.

Here’s what we’re doing

  • Communicating with students through multiple channels and contacts: encouraging instructors to mention the survey in class and sending email invitations and reminders
  • Personalizing communication: addressing students by their first name in survey invitations and reminders
  • Increasing shut-down deadline awareness: specifying a closing date for the survey (the last day of the course) and encouraging instructors to mention the closing date in class

Here’s what you can do

Instructor involvement is key to increasing student participation in surveys. Once you receive notification that your students will be invited to participate in SOIQS Online, encourage them to participate by doing any or all of the following:

  • Tell the class that they’ve been specially selected to participate in this pilot and that their participation is important and appreciated.
  • Tell them how you plan to use the results of the survey.
  • Give students a heads up about the survey – for example, through in-class reminders, syllabi, course webpages, and by mentioning that each student will receive an email invitation and reminder from the SOIQS Online system.
  • Give students 15 to 20 minutes to do the survey in class, either during the last or second-last session.
  • Let students know that they can use either a computer or a mobile device to fill out the survey. If students need to set up Wi-Fi, visit the IT Services Wireless & Internet help page.
  • Book available lab space if you prefer that your students complete the survey during class on BCIT’s computers.

Getting involved

Interested in participating in the next stage of SOIQS Online? To be a candidate, your area must meet certain criteria. For more info, please contact

If you have any questions about SOIQS Online and this pilot, please click on the FAQ link below or contact