There are several ways you can increase your response rate for your online course evaluations (Adams, 2012; Hoel & Dahl, 2018; Nulty, 2008). Some suggestions for instructors include:
- Provide assurance that you will use feedback. Many students do not know how their feedback will be used. Assure them that you care about improving your teaching, help them understand what kind of feedback is most useful, and provide specific examples of how you have used feedback in the past. Some studies show that this is the single biggest influence on whether students will complete course evaluations (Hoel & Dahl, 2018).
- Provide frequent reminders. Remind students frequently in class and through D2L about evaluation instructions and completion dates.
- Provide whole-class Incentives. While incentives for individual students is discouraged and impractical given the survey’s confidentiality, whole-class incentives (such as a small point increase for the entire class if response rates get above 75%) can ensure that students encourage each other to complete course evaluations (Prunty, 2011).
- Make the evaluation easy for students to find. Place visible links in your syllabus and in multiple places on D2L. Ensure that the links are current and operational.
- Provide time in class to complete the evaluation. Hoel and Dahl (2018) found that students were more motivated to complete a course evaluation when given time during the regular class period to do so.
- Provide assurance of confidentiality. Many students may be fearful that their responses can be identified. Assure them that instructors have no way of linking responses to individual students, and will not see the responses until after grades have been submitted.
For more information, or for a one-on-one consultation, contact Hillary Steiner at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Adams, C.L. (2012). Online measures of student evaluations of instruction. In M. E. Kite (Ed.), Effective evaluation of teaching: A guide for faculty and administrators. Retrieved from the Society for the Teaching of Psychology web site: http://teachpsych.org/ebooks/evals2012/index.php
Hoel, A., & Dahl, T.I. (2018). Why bother? Student motivation to participate in student evaluations of teaching. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, DOI: 10.1080/02602938.2018.1511969.
Nulty, D. D. (2008). The adequacy of response rates to online and paper surveys: What can be done? Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, 33(3, June), 301–314.
Prunty, P. K. (2011). Bolstering student response rates for online evaluation of faculty. Essays on Teaching Excellence, 23(1). Retrieved from http://podnetwork.org/ publications/teachingexcellence.htm.