Information for FacultyFor more information and important links and forms, see the Faculty & Staff website.
Why was the course evaluation form changed?
The previous form was very long and very specific. This resulted in fewer students giving feedback. Therefore, Faculty Senate passed a resolution that the university would ask only three questions as part of the new FCE process from Fall 2007 - Fall 2009. In October 2009, Faculty Senate passed another course evaluation form comprising of ten questions effective starting Spring 2010.
What will happen to the response rate if the evaluation is online?
Several studies have shown that the best way to encourage your students to respond is to share with them why their feedback is important to you and what you do with the information. Most students don't believe faculty even read the evaluations and report that they would be more likely to complete FCEs if they believed they were read and used for improving teaching and education on campus.
The most valuable source of information to me are the comments. How will online administration affect the quantity and quality of comments?
Studies have found that a greater percentage of students comment and write longer comments when completing a course evaluation online compared to one given in-class with a paper-and-pencil. No differences have been found between online and in-class in the percentage of comments that are classified as positive, negative or mixed.
Have any differences been found in the ratings students give when responding online vs. in the classroom?
Our own studies and those done at other institutions have found no systematic differences in feedback or the characteristics of students who complete FCEs in-class vs. online. In one of our studies we randomly assigned students from each of two large courses into an online vs. in-class administration and found no differences in the ratings or the characteristics of the students in terms of anticipated grades, GPA, or other potentially relevant variables.
Won't some students decline to respond because they believe they are less anonymous online than on paper and pencil?
The university takes the issue of student privacy and anonymity very seriously, and all reasonable precautions to protect it are being taken. View the complete privacy statement. The system uses Andrew IDs to identify the courses students are enrolled in and to ensure that they have the opportunity to evaluate their courses. Once they begin to provide feedback. No personally-identifying information appears anywhere on the survey.
When can I see my ratings?
As soon as your grades are submitted, and the deadline for grade submission has occurred, you will have access to your results. You will have the ability to view the data in several different ways, such as viewing only the summary statistics for each section, viewing response distributions and averages for each question, viewing only comments. You will also be able to look at your ratings in comparison to those of your department, school, and the university.
Who can see my ratings?
Nothing has changed in the policy of who gets to see the data. As always, you, your department head, and your dean can view all the information. Students and staff will only have access to the ratings for the questions; they do not have access to the comments.
How long will the data remain online?
The ratings from the questions will remain online for ten years. If you want to maintain access to your comments beyond that period, then you must download the data and store it yourself.
I teach a course that is cross-listed with other course numbers. How will I see my results?
Each course will have its own rating and comments.
My courses include several TA-led recitations - will they be evaluated as well?
No. However, the Eberly Center does have both early course and end-of-course evaluation instruments designed to address the specific roles and responsibilities of teaching assistants in different instructional settings, such as discussion recitations, problem-solving recitations, labs, studios, grading, and/or project management. Many departments already use these instruments or some variation of them. These instruments are available for downloading at http://www.cmu.edu/teaching/assessment/courseeval_forms.html.
I co-teach a class with two other instructors. How will students evaluate me?
You will see only the feedback given about you. Likewise, you will be unable to view feedback for the other instructors.
Will my course be evaluated if I only have one student officially enrolled?
No, courses will only be evaluated if there are three or more students enrolled.