Course Evaluations

Best Practices

Prior to the evaluation period:

  • Include a brief description of the evaluation in the syllabus.
  • Talk about the importance of feedback to you.  Students want to know how faculty are using the results of the evaluations, so they do not get the impression they are taking the evaluations for no purpose. Share results with classes and explain what has been changed in the course or teaching methods based on the student feedback.
  • Show students a copy of the evaluation form so they see it ahead of time.
  • Show them a copy of the evaluation report, so they can see that names aren't attached. Assure them that their names are not included in results. We can get a sample copy put on the website for them to review, although a real one of your own is best.

Conducting the evaluation:

  • Ask students to bring their smartphone, tablet, or laptop to class -OR- schedule the class in an open computer lab, if available.
  • Conduct the evaluation at the beginning of class.
  • Go over the process with them & remind them that you take the feedback seriously.
  • Ask them to log in to Blackboard to get to the evaluation instrument, or click directly on the link in their email.  Those without devices will have to complete the evaluation later.
  • Once everyone has pulled up the evaluation, inform them that they have 15 minutes to complete it (or 10 minutes - whatever you think is appropriate), and that class will continue after the evaluation.
  • Leave the room until the evaluation period is over.
  • Say thank you!

A few general notes:

  • The more you talk about evaluations in a positive way, the higher your response rates will be.
  • Including the information in your syllabus will help raise awareness among students, as will posting reminders in your Blackboard course shell for those who haven't completed it.
  • If you use social media and interact with students, posting reminders there can help as well.
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