Guidelines for Faculty
Tips for Improving Response Rates in Online Teaching Evaluations
This document is an adaptation of guidelines developed by the University of Michigan Office of Evaluations and Examinations (E&E) in Ann Arbor, which began administering teaching evaluations in electronic form in the 2008 fall term. The answers cover both online processes and strategies employed by instructors to increase response rates.
How does UM-Flint encourage students to complete online evaluations?
The CoursEval administrator will notify and remind students about online teaching evaluations in two ways:
- E-mail notices: Students will receive an e-mail reminder whenever an evaluation opens, and then will be reminded about open evaluations periodically until the evaluation closes. The evaluation period is seven days ending at the end of the study day.
- On-campus publicity: Appearing in advance of and during the submission period, publicity will include Blackboard announcements, posters in campus buildings, ads on campus plasma screens, and residence hall promotions.
How can teachers encourage students to complete online teaching evaluations?
Faculty are key to convincing students that course evaluations are an important student responsibility, especially at an institution like U-M that highly values student input and high-quality teaching. Tips for promoting student participation include:
- In your syllabus, list completion of teaching evaluations as an expectation (although UM-Flint has determined that faculty will not see the names of individuals who have or have not completed the survey).
- Tell students directly how much you value their feedback. Let them know how you have incorporated past feedback into your courses. Assure them that all ratings and comments are anonymous and that instructors do not see results until after final grades have been submitted.
- Tell students that evaluations are taken seriously not just by individual instructors, but also by departments, schools, and colleges. Evaluations are used for a variety of purposes, including promotions, annual reviews, and teaching awards, in addition to providing data for improvement of individual courses.
- Use the CoursEval tools to keep track of your specific class response rate on a day-to-day basis during the submission period. Let your students know what percentage of the class has responded and that your goal is to receive feedback from everyone.
- Show the CoursEval PowerPoint presentation to class before the start of the evaluation submission period (find this in the Blackboard Content Collection>>>Institution Content>>CoursEval.pptx).
- Allow students to bring laptops to class and provide class time for completion of online teaching evaluations. If laptop carts are available, bring one to class so that students can complete evaluations.
- Arrange to bring your class to a school, college, or campus computing site to complete evaluations during or immediately after class.
- Use Blackboard announcementsor group e-mail reminders to encourage students to complete course evaluations.
For more information about promoting response rates, see the following reports: