Technology Enhanced Learning Knowledgebase

Bristol Online Surveys

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What is BOS?

BOS is an easy-to-use service that allows you to develop, deploy, and analyse surveys via the Web. No complicated set-up or technical knowledge is required.

Why use BOS?

No limits

BOS allows you to create unlimited numbers of surveys for unlimited respondents.


BOS has three accounts types (Single user, Project and Organisation), scaling to your needs. Should you need to add more users or functionality, the upgrade path is easy.

Collaboration and sharing

Users can easily share surveys with each other so users in different accounts can collaborate on the same survey.

A unique feature of BOS is the ability for multiple organisations to run the same survey simultaneously and form ‘Benchmarking Clubs’ to get answers to common questions or issues. Local questions can be added to the core if required and these are excluded from the cross-organisational comparisons.

Who else uses BOS?

BOS is used by over 300 organisations – approximately 130 UK universities plus other public bodies and companies.

The following national surveys have been run using BOS:

Careers in Research Online Survey (CROS) has run on an annual basis since 2001. CROS’s audience is researchers in Higher Education and it aims to gain feedback on terms of employment, opportunities for training and advancement, career aspirations and the like. Results from CROS have generated significant change both within institutions and on a national level. 68 UK institutions participated in 2013. 8216 research staff responded representing a response rate of about 26%.

The Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES) is run by the Higher Education Academy to allow participating institutions to collect feedback from their postgraduate research students on their experiences of their research degree programmes. It was developed from a pilot in 2006 and ran annually throughout the UK between 2007 and 2009, with 18,644 students completing PRES 2009. PRES 2013 took place in 122 institutions. The next sector-wide survey will take place in spring 2015.

The Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES) is run by the Higher Education Academy to allow participating institutions to collect feedback from their taught postgraduate students on their experiences of their degree programmes, developed following the success of PRES. It has run annually since 2008, with 30 institutions participating in 2009 and 76 in 2010. 32,638 students completed the survey in 2010, compared with 14,421 in 2009. PTES 2014 is taking place between 3 February and 19 June 2014.

Athena Survey of Science Engineering and Technology (ASSET) has run annually since 2002. It seeks to understand the career experiences, perceptions and ambitions of all career scientists. Respondents work in industry, public or private sector research, research and development organisations, Higher and Further Education, the NHS and elsewhere.

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