Online Student Ratings of Instruction

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

9
Online Collection of Midterm Student
Feedback

Evaluation Online offers a variety of options to faculty
who want to solicit formative feedback electronically.
Researchers interviewed faculty who have used this
system for midterm student evaluation.

Cheryl Davis Bullock

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) has experienced, as have many other institutions, an exponential increase in the number of courses offered online. The instructors of these online courses share the desire for, and in many cases the requirement of, a systematic process by which their students can provide feedback on their courses and teaching. At UIUC, the Division of Measurement and Evaluation (housed in the Office of Instructional Resources) oversees the traditional paper-pencil Instructor and Course Evaluation System (ICES). This division initiated the original concept, eventual development, and implementation of an online system to evaluate online courses and instructors. The development of this system was funded by the president's office. It is known as EON (for Evaluation ONLine) and has been available at UIUC since the summer semester of 2001.

One benefit of the new EON system is that it includes a mechanism for instructors to collect midterm (formative) feedback as well as end-of-term (summative) student ratings. In the traditional paper-pencil system, there was no mechanism for collecting and summarizing midterm student feedback. An online system for collecting and summarizing midterm student feedback has great value in higher education for a variety of reasons. First, it provides a snapshot of student perceptions about a course while course changes that semester are still possible. Consequently, the same students that provide the feedback can benefit from its implementation (Angelo and Cross, 1994). An added benefit of this mechanism within the EON system is that the results are immediately accessible once the evaluation period has ended. In addition, they are presented in a user-friendly format that can be easily summarized.

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