Online Course Evaluations - NIU - Northern Illinois University

FAQ for Faculty and Staff

NIU Testing Services

Adams Hall 128
DeKalb, IL 60115-2828

815-753-3701 (fax)

Regular Office Hours

8 a.m.- noon
1-4:30 p.m.

Spring 2018 Finals Week Office Hours

Saturday, May 5
2-5 p.m.

May 7 - May 10
8 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Open during lunch

Friday, May 11
8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m
Open during lunch 

FAQ for Faculty and Staff

Course Evaluation at NIU and the New Online System in Blue

Students are asked for feedback about their experience in their NIU courses, via a course evaluation with
questions determined by the college or department offering the course.

1. Which colleges/departments are using the new online student course evaluation in Blue?

College of Business – Online courses only

College of Health & Human Sciences – All departments

College of Education – All departments

College of Engineering – All departments

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences - Physics and Online Philosophy only

College of Visual and Performing Arts - Online Art only

2. My College/Department would like to move to online evaluations, where do I start?

Contact Testing Services at NIU through email.

Testing Services works with departmental staff to translate the paper evaluation instrument currently in use into an on-line electronic version workable through NIU Blue. That instrument is then associated, in MyNIU, with the specific course sections to be evaluated in the coming semester.

NOTE: If you have an existing student instrument that needs modifications, want to add a new instrument for course sections not previously evaluated using NIU Blue, or need to change which course sections are evaluated in Blue be sure to contact Testing Services at least two (2) months prior to the beginning of the semester in which you want these changes to take effect.

3. Will my class get an online course evaluation or a scantron/paper form?

Please review the colleges in question 1 above and check with your college or department if you aren’t sure what kind of course evaluation you’ll be using this semester.

4. What questions are on my course evaluation?

Questions are determined by your college/department and each instructor can add up to 10 Personalized Questions. (QP)

5. How will students get to the online course evaluations in Blue?

Students may access their online course evaluations by:

  • Email invitations: Student will receive an email to their NIU student email account with a link to their course evaluations.
  • Students can log into Blackboard and choose the BlueEvaluations link.
  • Go directly to the URL for BlueEvaluations

6. Can I share the link to my online course evaluation in my class?

Instructors who would like to share a link in class can direct students to log into MyNIU/Blackboard and select your class or provide this link.

7. How will I know when my course evaluations start and end?

  • Instructors will receive an email notifying them that the course evaluation process has started, response rates can then be monitored by logging into BlueEvaluations.
  • You may also use the link to the semester calculator and enter your course start and ending dates as stated in the instructions.

8. What are the benefits of transitioning to an online evaluation system?

The many benefits include:

  • Faculty have electronic records of their course evaluations, including comments.
  • Students have more time to complete thoughtful responses and provide meaningful comments.
  • Students get email reminders to complete course evaluations.
  • Faculty will be able to add up to 5 scaled and 5 comment questions.

9. Can students do the online course evaluation during class, just like the paper-based evaluation?

Since students can use a laptop or mobile device, instructors have the option to give class time for course evaluations.

10. Will I be able to monitor response rates while my online course evaluation is open to students?

Yes. The instructor of record for each course can login to Blackboard, click on the Course Evaluations link and review response rates while the evaluation is open. Final response rates will be included in the summary report in Blue.

11. Can I add my own questions to the online evaluation?

Yes. The online course system in Blue is set up to allow instructors to add up to 5 scaled questions and up to 5 comment questions.

Click here for instructions.

12. How do I get my results from course evaluations in Blue?

By clicking on a link embedded into reminder e-mails sent automatically by the system for different events and reminders;

By logging into NIU Blackboard, then clicking on the “Course Evaluations” tab; or

By pointing their browser directly to

13. When will my results be ready?

Reports will be available approximately 2 weeks after the final grading period is closed.