4 Surveys

One of the expectations of program review is that stakeholder groups will be consulted, including: students and faculty, and alumni and employers (as appropriate). For each stakeholder group, there are survey templates that act as a starting point. Program review teams may add questions to the surveys to capture the specific needs of their program(s).

A support person builds and distributes program review surveys in consultation with the program review teams. In the past, we have used SurveyMonkey; however, there are a variety of user-friendly platforms that can be used to create online surveys.

Instructions for Program Review Teams

Timeline: May 15 – October 15

Recommended Submission Date: October 15

  1. Read Module 4 in the Program Review Handbook.
  2. Attend the mini workshop in May where we will discuss survey administration, collection, and analysis.
  3. Review the survey templates, and consider if any new questions should be added.
  4. Contact a quality assurance practitioner to build surveys.
  5. Determine distribution strategy and prepare contact lists in consultation with a quality assurance practitioner.
  6. Review and analyze survey responses using the summary reports provided by the support person.
  7. Save the summary survey reports in a secure place and prepare them for inclusion in the Self-Study Appendices.

Note: Depending on the department, surveying additional stakeholders (e.g., community, industry, Indigenous community members, internal departments) or utilizing different data collection methods (e.g., focus groups, interviews, cultural/journey mapping) may be valuable. Staff and faculty in the office of quality assurance and teaching and learning centre can support departments in developing customized data collection tools.

Survey Distribution

There are several strategies and combinations of strategies available for administering the surveys. The best strategy for each program is determined by the program review team in consultation with the office of quality assurance, for example:

  • A support person can distribute surveys via email using a secure web link. The survey is accompanied by an explanatory covering email describing the purpose and due date for survey completion.
  • The Chair can distribute the surveys in a similar fashion via email.
  • The Chair and/or a quality assurance practitioner can attend classes (either in person or virtually) to administer the survey, as well as to describe the purpose and value of program review to students.
  • Survey links can be shared in Student or Alumni Newsletters.
  • Any combination of the above!

The survey remains open for four weeks. In consultation with the program review team, reminders and/or extensions may be used to encourage participation.

Approximately three weeks following the closing of the survey, the support person will share the survey results with the program review team in a Summary Report. The results are anonymized and redacted (as appropriate) to ensure that the confidentiality of survey participants is maintained, and that no person is identified in the survey responses. The survey reports are shared with the External Reviewers (Module 6) and results from the surveys inform the development of an Action Plan (Module 7).

We believe it is important for faculty to have primary responsibility over analyzing and interpreting the survey results to maintain the credibility of the findings (Hoare et al., 2024) because those involved in and engaged in the day-to-day operations of the program are best positioned “to ensure the richness, subtlety, and nuance of meaning are not lost in translation” (Wehipeihana, 2019, p. 372). 


Hoare A., Dishke-Hondzel, C., Wagner, S., & Church, S. (2024). A course-based approach to conducting program review. Discover Education, 3, Article 5 https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s44217-023-00085-4

Wehipeihana, N. (2019). Increasing cultural competence in support of Indigenous-led evaluation: A necessary step toward Indigenous-led evaluation. Canadian Journal of Program Evaluation, 34(2), 368-384. https://doi.org/10.3138/cjpe.68444 


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Program Review Handbook Copyright © by Alana Hoare; Catharine Dishke Hondzel; and Shannon Wagner is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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