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VIU Surveys

To support decision-making at VIU, the Office of University Planning and Analysis (OUPA) administers large institutional surveys and provides software (Lime Survey) and a user guide for users to run their own smaller surveys.


What do you mean by ‘survey’?

A survey is defined as a set of questions about a specific topic addressed to a group of people for the purpose of gathering information. Surveys can be in written, web-based, or verbal form depending on the method that best fits your sample.


VIU Survey Schedule

2017-18 Survey Schedule (launch dates)


OUPA’s goals:

  • To be attentive to the needs of the VIU community

The number of surveys being conducted on our students is increasing, which can in turn increase the likelihood that respondents will ignore requests for participation, not see the value of their participation, or not complete the survey thoughtfully. We seek to manage the frequency of this data collection method in order to minimize negative impacts on our students and subsequently the response rates and the richness of the data collected.

  • To acknowledge the cost of surveys

Surveys are costly. They require time from the developers, the analysts, and the respondents. Furthermore, we may already have the data you wish to collect through past or perennial surveys (NSSE, CUSC). We are happy to discuss what you seek and can help determine whether a survey is the best method of collection for you.

  •  To adhere to proper research ethics

Your project may need approval from VIU's The Research Ethics Board (REB). This will ensure that all research projects involving humans and animals follow standard ethical guidelines and are subject to ethical review, whether they be student projects or faculty projects.


Deciding whether a survey is the right method of data collection for you

Are the data you are looking for already available through other surveys?

VIU already participates in several diverse and omnibus surveys on a perennial cycle. The data collected from these surveys may hold the answer you are looking for. For a summary of all VIU surveys conducted in the last completed academic year, please review the 2015-16 Survey Summary Report. Another great source of information regarding what reports, work, and information are done in OUPA, please review the OUPA Bulletin.

Does your sample size allow for a quantitative survey?

If your sample size is small (less than 100), you may need to explore other methods other than a survey, such interviews or focus groups.


OUPA can:

- Help you optimize your survey

OUPA oversees all survey work done that collects data from VIU students (this does not include course or faculty evaluation surveys). Any time you are planning to collect data from students in the form of a survey, you should contact our office. We work to coordinate similar efforts in an attempt to minimize student survey fatigue and maximize the significance and impact of the results. OUPA can provide you with the tools you need to create, test, and deploy your survey.


If a survey is the appropriate method of data collection for your project, please refer to Conducting a Survey using Lime Survey for more information on how to get started.