One of the concerns we heard during the last online course evaluation pilot was about the decline of response rates for an online course evaluation system. We are here to tell you that response rates don't have to decline!
The Explorance Blue product, which we are piloting this semester, has mobile-friendly functionality. Students can complete their course and teaching evaluations using their smartphone, laptop, or campus desktop. Allocating class time for course and teaching evaluations communicates to students the importance of the evaluation process and makes it easier for them to complete their evaluations during a busy time of year. A good strategy is to ask students to bring their devices on a specific day, and set aside class time to complete the online evaluations on their devices in class. We can also tell you that, according to the 2016 ECAR Technology Survey of Appalachian State University students, 98% of students have a smart phone!
Another effective strategy to keep your survey response rates high is to share why course evaluations are important to you and describe some of the changes you have made as a result of survey data. If the students know that you are using the results to improve the learning experience, they are much more likely to participate and the results are hopefully much more meaningful.
Lastly, you will also be able to see a response rate graph report through a Blue Explorance dashboard, so if you don't take the time in class, you can look at the response rate report and remind your students often to take their course survey. More information about the Explorance Blue pilot will be posted and emailed in the coming weeks. We look forward to a successful pilot!