Online Evaluations

In: Computers and Technology

Submitted By adp1542
Words 3644
Pages 15
Online Evaluations: The Risks, Benefits, and FSU

Traditionally, universities have taken stock of their faculty and class offerings by means of paper evaluations, typically administered during class towards the end of the term. This practice began in the 1920s and has been the standard since (Mau & Opengart 2012). However, during the last fifteen years universities have increasingly abandoned paper forms in favor of an online system, in which students complete course and faculty evaluations through a website, out of class and usually on their own time. The adoption rate among schools rose from 2% in 2000 to 33% in 2005, with the most common reasons cited being the cost and time savings (Guder & Malliaris 2013). Despite these potential benefits, many professors fear repercussions in the form of lowered response rates and biased scores. This paper aims to examine these concerns and also propose how a small school such as Fitchburg State University can implement online evaluations. First, I would like to briefly discuss why a school would want to switch to online evaluations. There are three primary reasons: online evaluations reduce paper costs (and postage for distance learning courses), which in turn is a way to “go green,” or be more environmentally friendly; online evaluations also saves many hundreds of hours across the various staff that have to prepare, print, scan, and analyze paper-based evaluations; and lastly, online evaluations do not take up valuable class time. As one UC Davis student complained, “Professors sometimes skip over material and tell us we have to learn it at home in order to make time for evaluations” (Toussi 2013, p. 2). Other possible advantages to the online format are the reduced chance of human error (e.g., a student missing a question or not properly filling in a ‘bubble’) and a greater ability to manipulate and analyze the…...

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