By Dave Scoville, originally appearing in in “Niihka Updates & Tips,” November 22, 2014 (see https://niihka.miamioh.edu/x/8180o1)
Strategies for Increasing Response Rates to Online Course Evaluations:
• Remind students about the evaluation two to three weeks before the semester or term ends. One study (Conn, 2005) found an increase in student response rates when students were given an early notification that evaluations were approaching. A reminder at around 2 to 3 weeks before the term ended was found to be ideal, raising response rates an average of 17%.
• Inform students how to complete the evaluations and where to find them. One study found that courses in which instructors demonstrated how to find and use the evaluations system had a 24% higher response rate than in courses with no demonstration given (Dommeyer et al., 2004).
• Consider making the evaluation an assignment. Making an evaluation an assignment, even with no point value attached, raised response in one study by 7% (Johnson, 2002).
• Emphasize the importance of evaluation: Students are more likely to complete course evaluations if they understand how they are being used, and believe their opinions matter (Gaillard et al., 2006).
• Explain how the University and you personally use the feedback. Chen and Hoshower (2003) found that students consider an improvement in teaching to be the most important outcome of an evaluation system, followed closely by an improvement in course content and format.
• Ask students to bring laptops to class and allow time in class to complete the evaluation. Most of our students have access to a laptop computer, tablet or suitable mobile device they could bring to class for a day. And it may be wise to have a couple of laptops or tablets on-hand, borrowed from your department’s IT folks or the library, for those students who don’t own a mobile device or forget theirs.
Additional Resources That May Be of Help: