As the fall terms draw to a close, I want to take this opportunity to provide an update on our new course evaluation process using CoursEval.
First a brief recap… in September 2009 the university transitioned from paper based course evaluations to an online system called CoursEval, a product of Academic Management Systems. This product was chosen after extensive research and a pilot in the spring of 2009 for its scalability, flexibility, and reporting. Instructional Support spent time over the summer getting CoursEval configured and began using it to deploy all course evaluations starting in September with COCE Term 09EW1.
Where are we now… since September we have deployed 21 separate course evaluations to a little over 29,000 students. Note that “students” doesn’t mean 29,000 distinct students. This is the cumulative number of registrants across all classes.
The overall response rate for all of these evaluations is around 55% with the response rates varying by term, location, and class. A more detailed breakdown can be found on our blog’s CoursEval page. More detailed stats will be posted in the coming weeks. Making the transition from paper to online, we expected the response rate to be a bit low and this is something that we will work on and anticipate will increase as the new process becomes fully integrated into the university culture.
From a staffing/budgetary/administrative standpoint CoursEval appears to be a good investment. Paper evaluations required the time and effort of approximately 12 employees and 4 work study students across campus to print, distribute, collect, scan, and transcribe all submissions. Add to this the cost of paper and ink. The same evaluations using CoursEval requires less than one full-time equivalent employee and no paper. The Instructional Support team (3 people) is now managing CoursEval as part of its normal workload. While it has increased our workload somewhat, it has not created an unreasonable burden. Also, having one centralized system means that university-wide data is available quickly. It no longer has to be collected from various locations across the university. The staff that did manage evaluations have not been negatively impacted by this change. They have been able to devote their time and energy to other projects important to the university and from what we hear they don’t miss the evaluations.
Course Evaluation Results… Once the deadline date for final grades is reached, course evaluation results will be released to faculty. Each faculty member will receive an email with instructions for viewing their course evaluation results online in CoursEval. The email subject line will be “Your course evaluation results are available”. Term 09TW1 faculty were sent an email on Thursday, December 17th inviting them to review their results. Faculty who taught in Terms 09FADAY, 09EW2, 09EW1-16wk, and 09SW1 will receive an email on the afternoon of Tuesday, December 22nd inviting them to review their results.
Where are we going… CoursEval will continue to be used for all course evaluations. Some tweaking of system settings and reports will be made on an on-going basis. For spring terms we hope to implement some additional features such as evaluations for student teaching/internships, incorporation of custom questions from faculty, report triggers and more.
Any comments or suggestions on the course evaluation process and CoursEval are welcome. If you have used CoursEval as student or faculty we would like to hear your thoughts. Please post a comment on this post using the “Leave a comment” link above. If you would prefer your comments to be private, please email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you to everyone who assisted with the process of implementing CoursEval.