Enhancing the Student Experience: Moving Course Evaluations Online
Students do everything online and have expectations on how easy and accessible their educational resources and services should be. While course evaluations are an important part of the teaching and learning process, many higher education institutions (HEIs) are still administering in-class paper forms. In our digitally connected world, it’s important that HEIs provide a course evaluation solution that allows seamless access for students anytime, anywhere in order to drive engagement. In this post, we look at a few benefits of online course evaluations and why some notable institutions have made the jump.
Substantive Responses to Open-ended Questions – Students who complete online evaluations are likely to give more extensive responses to open-ended questions. This free-from feedback will help instructors direct future efforts that can lead to higher success and satisfaction rates. Western University recognized that by switching to online course evaluations, students will have more time to give the complete feedback they want. Unlike paper-based evaluations that are completed under time-constraint, students can save their responses and continue to fill out the form at a later time. This may enhance the quality of the responses as it allows the students to take the time they need to complete the questionnaire. A text analytics tool will enable HEIs to unlock themes in qualitative comments that might not be readily apparent.
Quick Availability of Data for Analysis – Although students complete course evaluations regularly, their efforts can sometimes produce little return. Interpreting the data on paper-based forms take time and the results often become available only after the students have moved on. With online course evaluations, the immediate availability of data will provide HEIs with action-oriented insights that they can share with students instantly. As with Brock University, instructors can quickly “access reports for all of their current and past courses” and discern particular trends in student comments.
Support Team-Taught and Cross-Listed Courses Evaluations – Team-teaching and cross-listing have found a place in many higher education institutions. Evaluating these courses using a paper-based form means that students will have to fill-out multiple questionnaires or provide an overview assessment of multiple instructors. An online course evaluation solution offers a seamless experience where students can give feedback for all instructors on one form. For example, in a team-taught course with multiple instructors, the questions for teacher A will appear, then the questions for teacher B will appear, and finally the questions for the course will appear.
Feedback is such a crucial part of the student experience, what benefits have you seen from using online course evaluations?
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Chanel M. Sutherland Marketing Content Specialist, eXplorance