The College of Nursing was a pilot site for testing the new proposed course evaluation questions. In the past, our course evaluation consisted of 10 items and an open ended ‘Other Comments’. Many of our courses have multiple faculty who teach/manage a large number of students. Students completed the entire assessment on each faculty. Often it was difficult to discern which faculty their comments were referencing.
Although our response rate did drop slightly, the feedback that I have received from both faculty and administrators responsible for mentoring/evaluating faculty performance, has been positive. The separation of questions (3 instructor specific and 3 course specific with 3 open ended) has decreased student confusion - each student completes course evaluation once and instructor evaluation for each of the instructors that worked with the student during the course. The responses have provided greater insight into the strengths/weaknesses of the course and instructor. The student narrative responses to the structured open-ended items have much richer feedback instructors verbalize that will be valuable for them as they work to continually improve the quality of their instruction for students.
As administrators have reviewed fall 2019 ACE responses to identify trends that need to be addressed in our academic programs, they have indicated that the quality of feedback will allow them to have more focused discussion with instructors during their mentoring/performance reviews.
We view these new questions as a definite step in the right direction in keeping a focus on quality improvement in our educational offerings to students. Having a system that would allow tailoring of the evaluation period to fit the needs/workload of the students would be ideal and would help to increase the response rate.