These guidelines describe the process for accessing student data when assessing the effectiveness of student life programs and services or student needs with respect to services, programs or campus environment. The intention is to:
- prevent survey fatigue through coordinated sampling methods
- protect confidentiality through standards of practice, and
- create a coherent body of knowledge among administrative units across the University with respect to the student experience.
Who should follow this process?
Staff (and faculty working in administrative roles) wanting to evaluate programs and services for the purpose of quality improvement or assess co-curricular student learning outcomes. Approval from Student & Campus Community Development must be given if one or more of the following applies:
- A random sample of students is required for the assessment/evaluation (i.e. a ROSI download will be requested).
- Campus Labs: Baseline (formerly Student Voice) will be used.
Evaluation or assessment initiatives that don’t require approval from Student & Campus Community Development must ensure the following:
- It should be evident to the student that the invitation to participate was generated as a result of their participation in a program and/or accessing a service (i.e. they are not part of a random sample).
- Confidential information must be kept confidential and handled as required by the Freedom of Information and Privacy Act (Ontario).
- Students should not be unduly surveyed or receive repeated requests to participate in evaluation/assessment – particularly from the same source.
Researchers wanting to access student data or conduct surveys of students for scholarly purposes must obtain permission from the Office of the Vice President and Provost in addition to being approved by the Research Ethics Board. This doesn’t include surveys for internal administrative purposes, surveys by students of their classmates or by a faculty member of their students.
For more information on the Guidelines and Procedures Regarding Access to University of Toronto Faculty, Students and Staff for Research Purposes, please visit: http://www.provost.utoronto.ca/policy/access.htm.
Questions regarding the categories of data should be addressed to:
Manager, Assessment & Analysis
Request a project
Projects requiring approval should submit the following
- Title of project
- Name(s) of staff or faculty conducting the project
- Brief description of objective of assessment/evaluation
- Will Student Voice be used?
- Description of participants, recruitment process and requested sample size
- How will confidentiality be maintained?
- How will the results be reported?
- How will the results be used?
- Please include a copy of your survey questions or interview/focus group protocol.
Please submit requests to
Manager, Assessment & Analysis
Review of requests
Project requests will be reviewed by a panel of student life staff on a monthly basis. Once the panel has made a decision, applicants will be notified as to the status of the request. Projects may be approved, or denied and the panel may request revisions and/or additional information.
Evaluation or assessment projects that are limited in scope and do not include a request for a random sample of students will be reviewed by the Manager, Assessment & Analysis and a response will be returned within one week. If a submission is rejected or returned with a request for revisions, the applicant has the option to request that the project be re-considered by the full review panel.