Faculty members can have the greatest impact on evaluation response rates due to their frequent interactions with students. The following strategies offer ways to capitalize on this potential for impact.
Setting Aside Class Time: Coincidentally, the most effective strategy also happens to be the easiest to implement! Just as one would when administering paper evaluations, instructors should carve out time in class at the end of the semester to have students complete their evaluations using a cell phone, tablet or laptop. Including this on the class schedule of the syllabus and announcing it to students closer to the date will ensure students that this is a strategic effort to collect their feedback. Remind students ahead of time to come prepared to class with either their cell phone, tablet, or laptop in order to complete the evaluation in class. Be sure to explain to students ahead of time/on that day that you will administer the course evaluations as you have in the past and leave the room while they complete them.
Direct Access Link:Instructors can provide a unique evaluation link to enrolled students for direct access to a course section's evaluation. Only students enrolled in the course section will be authenticated into the evaluation, bypassing the landing page. When the evaluation is completed, the student can simply click the "return to course list button," where any other available evaluations will be listed. During class, instructors can post the "Direct Access Link" on the board/projector for students to access from their mobile device. Please refer to the support article for instructions.
Monitor Response Rates:Our Course Evaluations tool allows faculty to monitor their response rates in an active administration. For example, if you notice that your response rates are rather low for a large class and the administration is halfway over, you can use the remainder of the time to encourage students in class to complete them and follow-up with reminder emails. Please refer to the following support article instructing faculty on how to view response rates: How to View your Response Rates.
Feedback:Feedback is a tool that was created to allow instructors to receive formative feedback from students throughout the semester. Instructors have the ability to start a Feedback session in which their students will answer six questions related to high impact teaching practices and a single question that asks students if they understood the material that was covered. Feedback session results allow instructors to identify trends in student perceptions of their instruction and make improvements as soon as the next class. Please refer to the following support article for more information: Feedback Tool.
Student Incentives for Participation: Instructors can also use incentives in their classes to encourage students to complete their evaluations. Below are some specific strategies.
Extra Credit: Individual instructors can also offer extra credit if all, or even a certain percentage of students enrolled in a course section complete their evaluations. Additionally, instructors can offer students the option of submitting an extra credit assignment if all or a certain specified percentage of students complete their evaluations.
Personalized Email: One of our member campuses, Jacksonville University, shared a particularly effective strategy an instructor implemented. The administration was set to close on a Sunday, so the Friday before, the instructor emailed the class a thoughtful and personal plea asking for their participation in end of semester evaluations. By detailing the impact of student feedback on both a personal and professional level and espousing the value of their feedback not only for their class but for the entire university, the response rate increased by 25%!