Online Course Evaluations is a web-based system for evaluating the vast majority of courses at Boise State University. Students are asked about characteristics of the course and instructor to provide information for improvement.
PRE-EVAL: Between 1-2 weeks before an evaluation, you will receive an email that you can enter the system to create some individual questions for your classes. It is entirely optional.
DURING-EVAL: During the evaluation, faculty should talk to their students to encourage them to take the evaluation. You may also set up some incentives for taking it, if you wish. At any time you can log in to check your class response rates.
DURING-EVAL: During the evaluation, we recommend that faculty check their response rate every few days to make sure there is a steady increase in responses. If not, then it helps for the faculty to talk to the students in class to encourage filling it out, send an email, or place a reminder in Blackboard.
POST-EVAL: The day after the grades-submission date, you will receive an email that your reports are ready to view.
What you need to know:
How the Bronco CourseEval Process Works
Your students (and yourself) receive an email from Bronco CourseEval to start the evaluation process. It includes a web page link to access evaluations for their current courses.
Students who delay will receive two or three reminder emails until the evaluation ends. You will receive one reminder mid-way through the evaluation.
You can log on the evaluation system any time to check response rates for your classes.
You will be emailed a link to view your summarized results the day after the grade submission deadline.
Your results remain accessible on Bronco CourseEval. You may also create PDFs to save them electronically, if you wish. Future reports will allow you to view results history.
Understanding the Evaluation Period
The course evaluation periods are:
16 week sessions– final 2 weeks of classes (end Friday before Finals week)
5-week sessions– entire final seek of the session
8/10/12 week sessions– the final 1 1/2 weeks of the class.
It would be great to allow longer periods, but we are constrained on both ends. To start an evaluation, enough of the semester must have passed to form a reasonable evaluation. The end of the evaluation is constrained by the fact that faculty members can start posting grades for a class at any point, and do so increasingly as the final days approach. We have received a great deal of feedback that starting earlier than the times above are too early to evaluate the course, and too many faculty start posting grades sooner.
How to Add Your Own Instructor Questions
Adding evaluations questions for your courses
Click “My Questions” to go to the My Questions page.
Choose the future term and course for which you want to create questions. By default, the system displays course information for the current term.
Click Show Questions.
The evaluation questions for the course are displayed, below which is and “Instructor’s Questions” section.
Click Add New Question.
Enter the question text.
If you want this question added added to the evaluations of all your course for the selected evaluation term, not just this course, check that box.
Enter an abbreviation for the question.
Note: The abbreviation is displayed in some reports.
Select a question type. The question types you can select from have been set up during What DO You Think? implementation.
Do one of the following based on the question type you selected:
Select the quantitative answer type you want for the question, if you want the option to do so. Quantitative answer types were set up by your System Administrator during What Do Your Think? implementation. You may not have the option to choose an answer type.
Enter answer values (abbreviations) and labels (appear in the question’s Select list).
Nothing-no further action is required.
Repeat steps 4-10 to add more questions.
How to Send Reminder E-mails to Students
Instructors may send reminder e-mails to students in addition to the regularly scheduled ones. The e-mails only go to students who have NOT yet completed your evaluation. Below is a screenshot of the Instructor Home screen. Each of your courses are listed here; the Reminder Email button is to the right of the course.
You can save the message for future use or send it immediately. The following disclaimer will automatically be added to the footer of your e-mail. “All course evaluations are anonymous. This e-mail was sent to all students who have not completed an evaluation for this course. Neither the instructor or any administrators have access to see who receives this e-mail.”
How to Increase Response Rate
We have researched this question intensively, examining both Boise State data and research literature from other institutions. A few approaches have been very well substantiated.
#1 Talk with your students
The most important factor is up to the faculty. The key is to talk with your students about the importance you attach to course evaluations, why they are important to you, and examples of how you have used the feedback to improve your classes in the past. Students feel they are wasting their time filling out a course evaluation if they believe the faculty member will not even look at them. This is a point made widely in the research literature, and a study specifically bears out here at Boise State.
Many faculty use some form of incentives for students. Generally, incentives usually work well to get a class over 80%, often into the 90-100 percentile. We suggest the instructor set up a reward based on the overall class response rate (e.g., if the class has over 80% response rate, then give everyone 5 points, or let them bring a page of notes to the final). Then instructor can check response rates periodically and tell class how they are doing. Students respond well to that, reaching a common goal allowing a bit of peer pressure. If an individual incentive is desired, students can print their home page showing which evaluations they completed.
Two large departments have been experimenting with the use of Qualtrics to run their course evaluations over the past couple years. Data from those courses show that it takes four reminders–in the absence of incentives or other extra efforts–to push response rates into the 70 percentile. We consider 70% a healthy level for a representative response.
A related point to discuss is about potential bias. Various studies have looked at the relationship between bias and response rates. Generally the evidence is consistent that systematic biases do not tend to occur at much lower response rates than Boise State evaluations receive on average. However, the combination of small class size and a low response rate is unlikely to produce an accurate representation of student attitudes.
Types of Reports
Whereas the instructor usually accesses their own class results from the Home menu, administrators will use one of the Reports menu items.
Used to find the real time response rates for individual classes or classes within a department or college.
Allows you to set various filters to list classes of interest, then view various reports of the individual classes.
Allows you to set filters that will define a set of classes whose results will be aggregated or compared.
Displays an instructor’s results over time compared to the department’s aggregate results. WebOptics shows both an overall summary for each course as well as results for each individual evaluation form question over time.
Provides a summary of an instructor’s evaluations across courses and within a selected time period.
View Roll-Up Reports
Viewing Rollup and Comparison Reports
While Report Browser specializes in separate, singular class reports, the Rollup Reports focuses on mean data for aggregated groups of classes. Rollup Reports only report on quantitative questions. However, the rollup capability greatly expands your ability to analyze trends and comparisons.
Accessing and using the Rollup Reports page
Choose Rollup Reports from the Reports Menu
Select options on which to base your report from the Drill Down and Filters lists.
Use the Drill Down lists to select significant search criteria for your report.
Use the Filters lists to further limit the search results for your report.
Select the question’s to be included in the report.
Select Common to base your report on questions common to a school included in the current drill down or filters selections, but not those asked of only one department or course.
Select All to base your report on questions asked of anyone in any course included in the current drill down or filter selections.
Select the type of report your want to create:
Click Create Report. The report will be displayed below.
Comparison Report Example:
In this comparison report example, we’re comparing the aggregated scores from the Engineering school by location.
Display a Results Summary Formatted For Annual Performance Or P&T Reviews
The Instructor Summary report displays a summary of an instructor’s evaluations across courses within a selected time period (one semester, one year, 6 years, etc.). This report permits instructors and administrative users to view a summary of results for annual performance evaluations or other reasons. It is particularly helpful to spot trends or changes in results over time. The report can be output to Excel or PDF.
Select Reports; Instructor Summary report.
Select a single instructor then enter the start and end terms for the period you wish to select.
Select which organization level to display as a comparison value. Selecting “Department” usually provides a more relevant comparison for the types of courses covered, even though there is a smaller “n” of classes included.
It is recommended to include Total Enrollment and Response Rates, so that you can take into account results based on a very small number of responses, or a small proportional response rate.
Note that if an instructor teaches multiple sections of the same course during a semester, these will be combined into one overall number for the term.