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University moves to online course evaluations

New system to allow for easier, mobile-friendly evaluations

By Scott Roberts | 10/19/15 | Updated 10/19/15 | Posted in News, Campus News

The University will no longer be using these course evaluation sheets at the conclusion of each semester to get student feedback on their courses, after the adoption of a new online evaluation tool.
The University will no longer be using these course evaluation sheets at the conclusion of each semester to get student feedback on their courses, after the adoption of a new online evaluation tool.

The University's Faculty Senate recently announced they would be transitioning from their former paper-and-pencil course evaluation system, and moving to a new online tool, titled "What-Do-You-Think?"

This site is an extension of the 25-Live software from the CollegeNet company, utilized by the University for scheduling purposes, including scheduling room reservations inside Gengras Student Union by the Student Centers Administration.

Students across the seven colleges at the University now have the option to use this tool online or on their mobile devices to rate their courses and professors, based on the previous semester and the comments and feedback they have on the classes.

"We thought about the ease for students, the ease for faculty, what types of reports might be able to be exported and used for and by faculty in terms of how it might influence and impact their teaching," Lisa Zawilinski, an assistant professor in elementary education for the College of Education, Nursing, and Health Professions, says.

This move also helps the school from a financial standpoint, allowing the University to allocate money and resources elsewhere, as opposed to purchasing items for the former course evaluation system in bulk, including Scantron sheets, interdepartmental envelopes, and pencils to fill out the evaluations.

"It's a cost-effective move for the University," Senior Advisor to the President Dr. Jane Horvath says. By going paperless, Dr. Horvath says the school is continuing with their initiative to make our school environmentally-friendly, saving nearly 36,000 evaluation sheets per semester.

Students will be able to log onto the evaluation site and see which classes they are taking, as well as the corresponding evaluation for that course. They also have the option to complete the evaluations on their own time, save their progress on any evaluation, and return to it at any point.

Dr. Deb Kidder, the Faculty Senate chair, says it was important to transition to this new system to really stress how important their feedback is to the students. Dr. Kidder also serves as department chair of the Management, Marketing, and Entrepreneurship program in the Barney School of Business, and she says this feedback will help tremendously with the way students learn and teachers teach in the classroom.

The tool will be rolled out for students currently enrolled in any of the first seven-week and Saturday Term 2 courses, and then will formally begin at the end of the fall semester for the rest of the student body.

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