Online Student Ratings of Instruction

By D. Lynn Sorenson; Trav D. Johnson | Go to book overview

7
Do Online Ratings of Instruction Make
$ense?

In this chapter, the authors compare the costs of online
student ratings of instruction with those of paper-based
systems.

Timothy W. Bothell, Tom Henderson

This chapter provides a case study comparing the costs of online student ratings of instruction with those of traditional paper-pencil student ratings. The case study is derived from Brigham Young University's (BYU) experience in creating and implementing a new online student rating system. Some of the information on costs was supplemented by data gathered at Washington State University in Pullman.

The chapter is organized into five sections: background information about the case study; a description of the costs categories used in the costs comparison; the actual costs and estimates of costs; the comparison of costs of the paper-pencil system with the costs of the online system; and finally, other issues to consider when comparing online with paper-based evaluations.


Importance of the Costs Comparisons

The growing use of technology in higher education raises many questions about the possible cost savings of using an online rating system. The costs comparisons explored in this article cannot be considered analyses of “cost-effectiveness” because only costs-to-costs are compared. An analysis of cost-effectiveness is beyond the scope of this study.

Using technology to administer questionnaires can cost less than administering questionnaires by traditional means. In this study, technology plays an important role in reducing costs. Data collection, tabulation, and analysis are activities that computers can do more quickly, more

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