Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Note from Blanca Bauer Regarding Instructor Evaluations

The course evaluation period for Fall 2014 is scheduled from Nov. 17 - Dec. 7. The window for submissions has been extended by a week this fall to accommodate students’ availability during the Thanksgiving break. The evaluation period will close at midnight Dec. 7 before finals begin the following day. The deployment will occur with notices through email and on Blackboard to all students who enrolled during the fall term.

Just as a reminder to you, the evaluation process has been standardized across all UT System institutions to include:
·         Consistency in instrument format
·         Review of students’ responses
·         Review of the rate of response by course section
These reviews are conducted by the UT System Administration and the UT System Board of Regents.

The student response rates to course evaluations have declined since 2013 and are now working away from the 100 percent goal established by the University of Texas System through theChancellor’s Framework for Excellence (see attached Excel file for historical response rate summary available by term and department). The number was progressively improving; however, over the last two year period, rates rose from 34 percent (Spring 2013) to 52 percent (Fall 2013) and then regressed back to 36 percent (Summer II 2014). Faculty are seen as a front-line solution to getting students to complete the evaluations because they are in direct contact with the students, affording faculty the ability to emphasize the importance of these evaluations. Students view professors as figures of authority, therefore students are more likely to respond to a professor asking them to submit the course evaluations than an email, Blackboard, or other system message that will likely be overlooked. By not working toward 100 percent participation, the lack of responses fails to create improvements for the students, faculty, and university.  In short, professors are capable of helping raise the course evaluation student response rate close to the 100 percent target. The benefit for professors to emphasize the importance of students responding to course evaluations is that there is less of a margin for error in a large, versus small sample rate that could potentially overemphasis extreme responses.

Please make sure students read the instrument carefully as UT System’s scale has changed from the one the institution historically used.  For technical questions, please contact Jose Butron at extension 7199. If you have any other questions or concerns, please call Dean Straight at extension 7650 or the OIRPE office directly at extension 8816.

As always, thank you for your cooperation with this important activity.

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