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Dec 7, 2016

By Julie Fulgham

3 Important Trends in Course Evaluations

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Course evaluations are an important part of your Canvas learning ecosystem, and they must continue evolving in order to keep up with the latest developments in instruction and student approach. Your course evaluations should reflect how your students are experiencing instruction in the classroom and in Canvas. Here are three teaching trends you can (and should) add to the way you request student feedback.

  1. Team-Taught Courses

Are your courses taught by more than one instructor? Many courses today (especially in very targeted areas of instruction such as certification support programs) offer units taught by different instructors. These instructors focus on different aspects of the course topic and often have varying approaches to instruction—with varying quality.

Your evaluation system needs to support team teaching in a clean and simple way. Consider:

  • Can questionnaires easily include specific questions about individual instructors or material covered?
  • Can online questionnaires streamline the response process by including or excluding questions based on a student’s experience with a specific instructor?
  • Can evaluations be distributed to only those students who participated in a particular course segment?
  • Do instructors have easy access to the appropriate evaluation segments—and only those segments?
  • Are reports automatically customized for each instructor, streamlining their report reading and preserving confidentiality?

Check out our recorded webinar on how Class Climate by Scantron supports these team-taught course needs. The webinar features special guest speaker Cecelia G. Martin, Director of Assessment in the Office of Institutional Effectiveness at the University of South Alabama.

  1. Multiple Survey Uses

Do you have one solution for course evaluations and another for general surveys? Purchasing, training on, and supporting multiple systems can be expensive. You should be able to use your course evaluation tool for a wide variety of surveys and a wide variety of deliveries, including mobile, web-based, and even paper. Some examples include:

  • 360-degree faculty and staff performance appraisals
  • Facilities improvement options surveys
  • Alumni surveys
  • Point-of-sale bookstore or other student services surveys, using paper or a qr code students can snap at the counter and then take online

Check out our recorded webinar and article on how Class Climate is a full-featured course evaluation and general survey solution. The webinar features special guest speaker Cecelia G. Martin, Director of Assessment in the Office of Institutional Effectiveness at the University of South Alabama. The article features Coahoma Community College in Mississippi and Orange Coast College in California.

  1. Learning Outcomes

One of the hottest topics in course evaluation is measuring student achievement of learning objectives. Did you know that self-evaluations within course evaluations can be an effective tool to capture and analyze one aspect of these critical measures? Students feel more positively about courses where they can rate how they feel they have performed against course objectives and specified learning outcomes.

Your evaluation system should provide an easy and straightforward way to capture these perceptions. Consider:

  • Can you specify learning outcomes for each course?
  • Can you include targeted questions that guide students to evaluate themselves against these outcomes?
  • Can you provide feedback to instructors about these student self-evaluations so that they understand how these measures help them increase course quality?

Check out our recorded webinar on how Class Climate makes it easy to include student self-evaluations against specified learning outcomes for each course. The webinar features special guest speaker Cecelia G. Martin, Director of Assessment in the Office of Institutional Effectiveness at the University of South Alabama.

 

Keep learning,
Julie Fulgham, Higher Education Specialist, Scantron
Brad Zentner, Vice President, Sales, Scantron