What Worked– shifting much of the learning management from the instructor to the students.
1. Providing students the opportunity to provide feedback can help minimize any communication/learning issues.
2. Provide the opportunity to for students to regularly assess the instructor throughout the course, e.g. is the material being covered understood, are discussion forums relevant, etc. Instructor can than make needed course corrections.
Improving Response Rates
The literature shows that there are three primary methods to improve response rates on end-of-course evaluations:
1) send reminder notices,
2) offer a small incentive,
3) Most effective- make evaluation a part of the course.
Send Reminder Notices
“Currently, the principal problem with online evaluations is a potentially low response rate. Response rates to online faculty evaluations have ranged anywhere from 23 to 92%, with the higher response rates associated with surveys that used one or more reminder messages.” (Dommeyer, et al., 2004)
Offer a Small Incentive
Inform your students of the date they need to have the evaluation completed by in order to receive the incentive. evaluations do not produce significantly different mean evaluation scores than traditional in-class evaluations, even when different incentives are offered to students who are asked to complete online evaluations (Dommeyer, et al., 2004).
Make Evaluation Part of the Course
The most effective method to maintain high quality response rates is to make evaluation part of your course. By simply administering a mid-semester course evaluation and providing the results and your plan of action based on their feedback to the class, will dramatically improve response rates at the end of the year. This is because it addresses students’ primary complaint about course evaluation – no one looks or even cares about what I have to say about the course. If you show them that their feedback is important, studies show that they will provide that feedback to you.
Dommeyer, C. J., Baum, P. Hanna, R. W., & Chapman, K. S. (2004) “Gathering faculty teaching evaluations by in-class and online surveys: their effects on response rates and evaluations” Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education 29, (5) 611-623.