Bluenotes GLOBAL 2019 Conference

Continuous Learning in the Journey of Higher Education: Using Analytics to Measure Progress and Inform Decisions

pin-markerChicago, IL, USAcalendarAugust 4-7, 2019

In collaboration with the University of Louisville, Explorance is hosting the 6th annual Bluenotes GLOBAL Conference in Chicago, Illinois, USA. Join your Bluenotes community colleagues to connect and share your experiences in using analytics to turn student feedback into insights for measuring progress and informing decisions. Discuss your challenges, opportunities, and lessons learned. Expand your network of like-minded peers and sharpen your Blue skills and expertise in using data for analytics. Stay a few days longer and participate in the BAC, BEC or BRMC training camp to become a certified Blue Administrator, Expert, or Report Master.

Conference Highlights


The Bluenotes GLOBAL 2019 Conference is the perfect place to meet, share, discuss, and learn about how Bluenotes community institutions in Higher Education are using analytics to turn student feedback into insights for measuring progress and informing decisions. By attending, you will benefit from the experience and expertise of other Bluenotes community colleagues and leave with an expanded network of like-minded peers in Higher Education who are passionate about feedback-informed continuous improvement.

Keynote Speakers

Shirley Raines, PhD.

Keynote Speech: Building Productive Partnerships

Dr. Shirley Raines is a much sought-after speaker, consultant, and author. Shirley’s leadership roles culminated in her service for 12 years as the first woman president of the University of Memphis. Powerful, prepared, and personable were the descriptions used at her induction into the Tennessee Women’s Hall of Fame. She has served on the selection committee for the National Teacher of the Year. She also was invited to speak at the White House Conference on University Entrepreneurship for the FedEx Institute of Technology. She speaks with humor, enthusiasm, and authority. Raines has written 18 books, 15 for educators, 2 for children, and her newest leadership book. Shirley’s latest book is An Uncommon Journey: Leadership Lessons from a preschool teacher who became a university president.

Professor David Carless

Featured Speech: Feedback Literacy as a Key to Ongoing Improvement

Professor David Carless works in the Faculty of Education, University of Hong Kong. The Faculty is ranked no. 4 in the world in the Times Higher Education subject ranking and the University is ranked no. 25 in the world in the QS rankings (2018). Professor Carless is a renowned specialist in feedback research and practice in higher education. His current research focuses on teacher and student feedback literacy to enhance the impact of feedback processes. He is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. His signature publication is the book Excellence in University Assessment: Learning from Award-winning Practice (2015, Routledge). He tweets about feedback research and practice @CarlessDavid.

Event Details

Bluenotes GLOBAL provides an excellent opportunity to:

  • Share experiences, best practices, and insights to learn from each other
  • Network with your peers throughout the conference, formally and informally
  • Participate in various Bluenotes community meetups such as the Blue Experts Community and regional Bluenotes Chapters
  • Speak directly with Explorance staff
  • Learn about upcoming software releases and the product roadmap
  • Experience hands-on software use during pre-conference workshops and Explorance-staffed stations
  • Attend social events and dinners exclusive to the Bluenotes community
  • Become a certified Blue Administrator, certified Blue Expert, or certified Blue Report Master by participating in either the BAC, BEC, or BRMC in-person training camp immediately following the conference (for more information please click here)
  • And much more!


November 2018: NOW OPEN Early Bird Registration
May 3, 2019: LAST DAY Early Bird Registration Ends
July 19, 2019: LAST DAY Call for Presentation Proposals Closes
July 19, 2019: LAST DAY Conference Registration Closes
August 4 – 7, 2019 Bluenotes GLOBAL 2019 (Pre-conference activities on Aug 4)
August 8 – 9, 2019: Training Camp Blue Administrator Certification (BAC) Training Camp
August 8 – 10, 2019: Training Camp Blue Report Master Certification (BRMC) Training Camp
August 8 – 10, 2019: Training Camp Blue Expert Certification (BEC) Training Camp

Download the BN GLOBAL 2019 Conference Only Document for Travel Approval


Download the BN GLOBAL 2019 Conference and Blue Certification Training Document for Travel Approval


Highlighted below are various learning activities and networking activities planned to connect, share, learn, and problem-solve with your fellow Bluenotes community members and Explorance experts.



There will be various pre-conference activities to connect, share, and learn with your community colleagues on Sunday, August 4, 2019. The pre-conference workshops are mainly for Blue Administrators who want to gain a better understanding of Blue. The Architecting Change Leadership Roundtable (ACLR) track is designed to discuss overcoming various business challenges that institutions are facing as they introduce new technologies into their environments. The community roundtables are reserved for the members of Blue Experts Community and the Medical and Health Sciences Community to connect, discuss, and learn. The pre-conference learning activities do not require an additional fee, however space is limited so please register early.

Time Workshop: Beginner-Intermediate Level Workshop: Expert Level Community Meetup Architecting Change Leadership Roundtable (ACLR)
8:00 AM


9:45 AM

Workshop #1

Optimizing Blue for End-to-End Course Evaluation Automation: Learn how you can enhance the automation of your course evaluation process from beginning to end. You will understand how to automate data imports to Blue, how to automatically update projects and reports, how to automatically update report distribution, and how to monitor automated course evaluations in Blue.

Medical and Health Sciences Community Meetup

At the BN GLOBAL conference last year, attendees from Medical Schools and Health Science Colleges expressed interests in connecting together to share and discuss their unique requirements while implementing Blue. We heard you, and we’ve taken action. Join the Medical and Health Sciences community meetup and connect with your peers to share, discuss, and problem-solve together.

10:15 AM


12:00 PM

Workshop #2

Preparing your Data to Take Advantage of Relationship Demographics in Blue: Learn how to work with relationship demographics to provide more flexibility and control over the course evaluation and reporting processes. Utilizing additional data fields will offer you more options for setting triggers, different types of filters, and other conditional rules. As a result, students can select whom or what to evaluate while providing more granular options for reporting.

Workshop #5

Pushing Blue to the Limit: Getting the Most Out of Blue’s Functionality (Advanced Expert-Level) 

  • Advanced reporting, interesting or “unusual” users of Blue, other technical applications (Data/DIG), feature requests.

Faculty Onboarding to Bi-directional Feedback with Bluepulse: As institutions are implementing Bluepulse to institutionalize bi-directional formative feedback, faculty onboarding is identified as a commonly faced challenge that negatively impacting a large-scale adoption that makes difference beyond a pilot scale. This is a roundtable to connect with your peers dealing with faculty onboarding challenges, and discuss not only solutions to faculty onboarding to bi-directional feedback with Bluepulse but also discuss how to continue to share what worked and what didn’t work.

1:00 PM


2:45 PM

Workshop #3

Tips, Tricks, and Troubleshooting – How to Identify and Prevent Common Issues in Blue: Learn how to verify, check, and test your data to prevent common issues when running projects in Blue. You will learn how to identify other common configuration issues and what to do to prevent them. These tips and tricks will help to ensure a successful course evaluation process and improve your day-to-day efficiencies when administrating Blue.

Blue Experts Community Meetup

The Blue Experts Community meetup is for certified Blue Experts to connect with each other, share what they are working on, and discuss how to grow the Blue Experts Community together to make Blue Experts more effective in their institutions. It is a closed session for the certified Blue Experts.


Achieving Response Rates for Statistical Confidence: discussing strategies and approaches used to addressing such challenges, critical success factors for achieving desired response rates in a sustainable manner, and actions that the participants can take home.

3:15 PM


5:00 PM

Workshop #4

Enhance your Reporting with Blue’s New and Less Known Reporting Functionalities: Learn about new and less known reporting functionalities in Blue, to provide the reports your institution requires. Are you making best use of report blocks and functionalities in Blue to provide key information to your audience? Is there a more efficient way to provide key insights to your stakeholders? Gain the knowledge to enhance your reporting such as combining condensed layouts, summary reports, export reports, and BPI feedback views.

Workshop #6 

Connecting Technology with Campus Needs (Advanced Expert-Level )

  • Working with administration, institutional buy-in, campus policy.
  • Working with instructors and students.

Interpreting and Using Qualitative Student Feedback in a Meaningful Way: Did you know that when you migrate course evaluations from paper to online, students submit 4 to 7 times as many words? This roundtable is to connect with your peers to discuss how to go about interpreting and using qualitative student feedback in a meaningful way to inform decisions. 




A value of $20,000 in door prizes will be awarded at the conference. All attendees will be automatically entered to win one of these valuable prizes.

  • Attendance to the Bluenotes GLOBAL 2020 Conference, including airfare, lodging, and conference registration – 5 winners
  • An all-inclusive “Explorance Immersion Tour Trip” to visit Montreal and the Explorance headquarters – 1 winner



Your conference registration helps local charities. Explorance is committing a $10,000 donation to local charities, and conference attendees will determine the allocation of this donation. Three local charities have been identified to receive a portion of the $10,000 commitment. At the time of registration, attendees will vote for their preferred charity. The $10,000 donation will be allocated as follows:

  • #1 most selected charity: $5,000
  • #2 most selected charity: $3,000
  • #3 most selected charity: $2,000

Please select one of the charities below during the registration process:

  • My Block, My Hood, My City educates youth in under-resourced areas of opportunities beyond their neighborhoods.
  • Future Founders inspires and empowers the next generation of leaders and entrepreneurs.
  • PAWS Chicago operates a no-kill animal rescue shelter providing solutions without killing and supports adoptions into loving homes.



Welcome Reception: Sunday, August 4 | Palmer Hotel, 6pm

  • Meet and greet your fellow Blue community members with cocktails and canapés.

Social Event: Tuesday, August 6 | Spirit of Chicago Lakefront Dinner Cruise, 6pm in the hotel lobby for transportation to the lakefront

  • Join your colleagues for a networking dinner and social event. Please be in the hotel lobby no later than 6pm for transportation to the lakefront. Boarding for the Spirit of Chicago will begin at 6:30 PM.



Per popular demands, three Blue Certification Training Camps starting August 8 are available: Blue Administrator Certification training camp, Blue Report Master training camp, and Blue Expert Certification training. For more information and registration, visit the Blue Certification Training Camps at Bluenotes GLOBAL 2019 page.


Regular: $895 USD (adjustment reflected) ends July 19, 2019 (any registration made thereafter may not appear in the printed program.)

  • Buy two, and get a third registration free
  • 10% discount will be provided to the presenter’s conference registration fees.

SELF-PARKING at the PALMER HOUSE: a 50% Discount

The parking lot associated with the Palmer House is located on 55 East Monroe.

  • To get a 50% discount on self-parking, get your parking ticket validated at the front desk. Mention that you are attending the Bluenotes GLOBAL 2019 conference, hosted by Explorance.


Palmer House, by Hilton


17 East Monroe Street, Chicago, Illinois 60603


  • A discounted room rate of $179 USD per night is available for all Bluenotes GLOBAL 2019 attendees. The discounted room rate expires on July 26.
  • This discounted rate will be available for the nights of Saturday, August 3 through Monday, August 12, 2019 inclusive.


  • Phone: If you wish to reserve your room by telephone, please call the Palmer Hotel reservation line at 1.877.865. 5321 and reference “Bluenotes GLOBAL 2019” or the code “EXP” to receive the nightly rate of $179 USD.
  • Online: If you wish to reserve your room online, please book your reservation through this link to have the discounted rate automatically applied.

For more information on the Palmer Hotel: Click here.


Chicago, IL


O’Hare International Airport, located 17 miles from downtown, is one of the largest airports in the world. It is North America’s major international gateway airport, servicing over 67 million passengers to and from over 200 destinations around the globe.

Midway International Airport is located 10 miles from downtown Chicago and offers another convenient travel option for visitors. It is the nation’s premier point-to-point airport, offering value-oriented leisure and business travel to over 60 destinations.


Chicago O’Hare (ORD) International Airport is 17 miles from the hotel. Drive time is around 35-60 minutes and typical taxi fare is around $40 USD. There is also the option of taking the subway (the CTA train, also called the “L”) from the airport at $3 USD with a travel time of 45 minutes to downtown. When taking public transportation from O’Hare International Airport, take the Blue Line train to Monroe/Dearborn stop. Take Monroe east to the hotel and the Palmer House is on the south side of the street.

Chicago Midway (MDW) Airport is 11 miles from the hotel. Drive time is 30-40 minutes and typical taxi fare is around $40 USD. There is also the option of taking the subway (the CTA train, also called the “L”) from the airport at $2.25 USD with a travel time of 25 minutes to downtown. From Midway Airport, take the Orange Line to downtown, exiting at the Adams/Wabash stop. The Palmer House is located on the west side of Wabash Avenue.


Did you know? Chicago is a walking city with an easy-to-navigate downtown grid. Madison Street divides the city north and south, while State Street divides it east and west. The State/Madison intersection marks the origin of Chicago’s address grid system. Addresses are relative to the distance from that mark, with eight blocks to every mile. So an address of 3600 North Clark means that it is 36 blocks north of Madison.

From planes, trains, and automobiles to bikes and water taxis, view all transit options here.


There is something for everyone in Chicago! View the Official Visitors Guide for the city’s top attractions, dining and nightlife, shopping, arts and culture, sporting events, and everything in between.

Note: Submitting your conference registration form and completing the registration fee payment are done separately. Once you submit your conference registration through the ‘REGISTER NOW’ button, your attendance and selected preferences will be reserved for you. A conference registration confirmation email will be sent to the email address indicated on your registration form with payment details. You may complete your payment at any time prior to August 4, 2019: The early bird special rates will be honored to those who register before the early bird pricing ends. We’d strongly recommend registering your attendance as early as possible to ensure your preferred choices are available and your place is saved. Payments may be completed online via credit card here or by contacting directly.

Bluenotes GLOBAL 2019 Contact  or Yeona Jang at