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Online Course Evaluations – Best Practices

Communication from faculty is essential to student participation.
1. Remind students that the Instructional Evaluation is available every class session. (faculty)
2. Ask students if they have taken the time to give feedback. (faculty)
3. Help students understand how faculty improve based on the feedback. (faculty)

Make access to surveys easy and provide ample time for completion
1. Have reminder on TigerTracks during 2 week survey window. (CTC)
2. Make table tents for the MU and Forsyth Library. (CTELT)
3. Frequent email notifications. (Digital Measures)

Detail how results will be used.
1. Share department program improvement processes (accreditation, licensure, etc.)
2. Provide faculty testimonials

Make computers readily available/provide time in class.
1. The Learning Commons is available to assist on-campus students.
2. Computer labs/laptop carts available in several academic buildings.
3. Establish class time to bring laptops to class.

Assure students of confidentiality.
1. Communicate to students results not available until after grades are posted.
2. System hosted/maintained by 3rd party.

Provide support sites and information that is easy to find.
CTELT: http://www.fhsu.edu/ctelt/Teaching@FHSU/makeitbetter/
TLC: http://www.fhsu.edu/library/tlc/tlc-about/

“I communicate with [online students the] importance of the evaluation and request they take the time to fill it out. I also have my own personal course evaluation survey within Blackboard that I have them fill out as well. For that one, I give them extra credit points for completing it. In Blackboard, I can see that the survey is complete without actually seeing the results. So I tell them, I won't look at the result until after grades have gone out and will give them the points just from the completed survey check mark in the gradebook. Since there is value to them in filling that one out, they may just go ahead and do the other one along with it.”
Kenny Rigler, Instructor
Department of Technology Studies

“I will say that I think we all try to preface the evaluation process with them as they are important and are very useful for faculty to receive constructive feedback and help with improving the course for future students. 
stress importance
spread the evaluations over a week or two, instead of trying to hit them all in one or two days
complete evaluations with use of the tablet carts within a designated course time, so they fill it out during class time
if they complete outside of class time, stress the importance of taking time to provide valuable info back to the faculty, so take time to complete them”
Brenda Hoopingarner, Chair 
Allied Health Department

For further reading:
http://studentratings.byu.edu/info/faculty/myths.asp
http://www.theideacenter.org/OnlineResponseRates