Evaluating Teaching and Course Design using Surveys

Last revised: 02/05/2018 by dsm. 


This post provides recommendations for collecting formative and summative student survey feedback to inform and improve your teaching and course design.

Formative Student Surveys

Students are often asked to complete end-of-course evaluations that don’t personally impact their learning experience because the data is only used to improve subsequent course offerings.  Consider using formative student surveys to inform and improve your in-progress teaching and make course improvements that impact current students.  This type of survey is best administered two to four weeks into a fourteen week semester or approximately 20-25% into a course.  It can be re-administered mid-semester, if needed; just be mindful of survey overload.  eCampus has an Initial Course Survey (zip file) that can be imported into a HuskyCT class and edited to meet your feedback needs.  (See Blackboard’s tutorial How to Export and Import a Test or Survey).

Summative Student Surveys

Summative course surveys can effectively inform and improve subsequent course offerings.  eCampus also offers a Summative Course Survey (zip file) that can be imported and edited in a HuskyCT class site.  In addition, the University administers the official online Student Evaluation of Teaching (SET) during the last 2-3 weeks of classes (prior to finals).  Both survey tools can help faculty make informed course improvements.  (Note: Faculty may add questions to the SET.)

Survey Response Rates

Often good response rates require faculty encouragement.  eCampus recommends that faculty write an Announcement to students to request survey completion.  Example language is available in the article on Managing Your Online Class under the Before the Class Ends section.

Survey Results

Survey results in HuskyCT are accessed through the Grade Center by going to the survey’s column menu and selecting Attempts Statistics.  (See Blackboard Help page  Test and Survey Results.)

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