New Orleans, Louisiana
June 26, 2016
June 26, 2016
August 28, 2016
Where is Everybody? Participation in Online Student Evaluation of Instruction Surveys
Abstract End-of-semester student evaluation of instruction (SEI) (or student evaluation of teaching (SET)) survey instruments are commonly used by many universities. SEI results provide direct feedback about an instructor’s classroom performance, teaching methods, organization and preparation, and effectiveness of interaction with students, among other measures. Faculty can use this feedback as part of an overall strategy to improve teaching and student learning outcomes. At many universities, SEI scores and comments are included as part of hiring decisions, in annual reviews, as a basis for merit pay decisions, and in evaluation decisions for tenure, promotion, and reappointment.
In Fall 2013, an online SEI process was adopted at University of the Pacific to reduce administrative workload and to preserve student anonymity. However, in the School of Engineering and Computer Science participation rates in the SEIs were seen to drop from a range of 85% to 95% with paper-based forms, to 60% or lower when the School transitioned to online SEIs. Although individual faculty members in other academic units have used ad hoc strategies to provide incentives for participation, no institutional strategies are in place to promote participation. Review of the literature suggested similar issues were experienced at other universities where online SEI instruments were introduced.
SEI participation data were examined for all courses taught in the School of Engineering and Computer Science in Fall 2014, Spring, 2015, and Fall 2015. A preliminary study of the effectiveness of ‘interventions’ in the forms of providing in-class time to complete the evaluations or providing modest bonus point opportunities demonstrated increases in SEI response rate ranging from 10% to 50% compared to response rates for the same course in prior years. An overall 93% SEI response rate was observed in Civil Engineering courses in which interventions were used, compared to 69% for the ‘control’ courses – all other Civil Engineering courses in which no interventions were used. In addition, analysis of SEI participation data for the three semester-period indicated higher participation rates by female students and by students with higher grade point averages.
Saviz, C. M., & Lee, L. S., & Litton, G. M. (2016, June), Where is Everybody? Participation in Online Student Evaluation of Instruction Surveys Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.27199
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