Course Evaluations

Encouraging Student Participation
Instructor Initiatives
  • Instructor advocacy for the web method.
  • Make course evaluation part of the course syllabus with deadlines like other course requirements.
  • Use class e-mail lists to share Course Evaluations URL and ask for participation. Recommend 3 messages maximum.
  • Use point incentive for encouraging participation. (faculty feedback tool)
  • Hold one of the last classes in a computer lab.

Department Initiatives
  • Advocacy for the web method.
  • Use class e-mail lists to share Course Evaluations URL and ask for participation. Recommend 3 messages maximum.

Faculty Success Stories
  • 12/01/08: " I created a basic e-mail which includes a link, tells them the time period when they can fill them out, and lets them know I won't be able to see them until long after the semester is over. With each subsequent e-mail I send out exactly the same information, and I make sure to let them know how many of their class has filled them out so far, and if I feel they're dragging behind, I might prod them by saying, "Hey, only half of you have filled these out so far!" I usually send the first e-mail on the first day they can do it, then a second right after the weekend, and then a final e-mail on the morning of the day they are due. And starting on Wednesday, I mention them at the beginning of every class we have. I don't know why this works for me and not for others--I know there are people who dilligently do all of these things and still don't get a big return (even for me it varies with the class--I've found the bigger survey classes tend to fill them out less, but I can usually get 80 percent of my 110 students to do it). Maybe I'm just not afraid to be aggressive about it--I stress that it's their opportunity to "grade" me for the semester."
  • 05/23/08: "In courses where I do not require students to do the online course evaluation, I get a response rate of around 40% or 50%. In courses where I do require students to do the evaluation, and give them 5% of their grade in the course (an automatic A for that 5%) for completing the evaluation, I get a 100% return rate. I make this a formal assignment on my course syllabus."
    "Your final assignment in this course is to evaluate it. During the Spring of 2008, the course evaluation window for this particular course is from Friday, May 16 through Thursday, May 22. You must, therefore, log on to the course evaluation system within this window of time. The Web address of the course evaluation system is After you complete the course evaluation, your instructor will give you credit for completing it. The responses you give are completely anonymous. While your instructor will be able to see the ratings and comments, it is impossible for your instructor to identify the person who gave a certain rating or made a given comment. Once you complete the evaluation, your grade on this assignment will be an automatic A."
  • 01/26/07: "I made the survey a homework assignment. That seems to motivate nearly everyone. Giving credit seems to motivate only those students in need of a little extra help."

Related Websites