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Course Evaluations - Instructors

Course Evaluation System

Beginning fall 2016 term, course evaluations will be conducted using EvaluationKIT online course evaluation software. The default survey instrument is the Electronic Student Perception of Courses and Instructors (eSPCI), used at Florida State since fall 2013. PLEASE NOTE: The ordering system for evaluations will now default to the sSPCI, but administrators may change orders if desired to use the paper-based Student Perception of Courses and Instructors (SPCI).

Instructors using eSPCI will receive notifications that explain logging in and instructions about how to:

  1. View the survey questions
  2. Add course-specific questions
  3. View student response rates during the open survey window
  4. View survey results and summary reports

College/departmental administrators may also add college/departmental-wide survey questions to the eSPCI.

View the schedule to see windows of availability, notification and administration dates, and deadlines for placing requests for all course evaluations administered through FSU.

Please consult the FAQ below for more information.

FAQ

Why are we changing systems?
The EvaluationKIT system will result in cost savings, fewer errors, quick data turnaround, better reporting, and greater efficiency overall.

Has the evaluation instrument changed?
No. Course evaluations will be conducted using the electronic version of the Student Perception of Courses and Instructors (eSPCI) form that has been in use since the spring 2013 term, or if paper is desired, the paper-based Student Perception of Courses and Instructors (SPCI) will be available.

How will my students access the eSPCI EvaluationKIT software?
Students will receive email notifications and login prompts on Blackboard when the evaluations are open. If students do not complete the course surveys, reminder emails will continue throughout the open window.

Will student evaluations remain anonymous?
Yes, student responses will remain anonymous; instructors will not know which students responded or what responses individual students provided. Instructors can track overall response rates for their courses.

How will I access evaluation reports?
Reports will be posted in the EvaluationKIT site. You will receive notification to log in using your FSU login credentials to view your reports.

Will public reports still be available?
An EvaluationKIT public portal will be available to view course evaluations and summary reports of the SPCI evaluations starting from the fall 2013 term. FSU Assessment and Testing will host a link to view earlier electronic reports (fall 2003 through summer 2013 terms). Earlier evaluations can be found in the paper archives of the respective departments and in the University Archives of Strozier Library on the main campus.

What do I need to tell my students?

  1. Student feedback matters! Let your students know that faculty use information from course evaluations to improve courses, programs, and teaching methods. Explain that course evaluations also help instructors determine whether course content is meeting the needs of their students. Let them know that department chairs and college deans use course evaluations to assess faculty and the effectiveness of the courses in the program curriculum.
  2. The evaluations are anonymous. FSU has contracted with an outside vendor (EvaluationKIT) to manage and store the eSPCI evaluation data. FSU technology administrators do not have access to the student’s identifying data on any evaluation.
  3. Urge your students to complete the evaluations. Assure them you will listen and make necessary adjustments to the course and/or program. Students may view all course evaluations using the public site; this is often helpful when they are choosing courses to add to their schedule.

Can instructors make a difference in response rates?
Absolutely! The highly personal relationship between the instructor and the student plays the biggest role in a student deciding to take the evaluation survey. When evaluation is taken seriously by instructors and administrators, students feel their feedback matters and make an effort to respond. You will be able to monitor response rates during the open survey window. If you see they are low, let your students know how important it is to you that they take a moment to complete the course surveys.

Are online survey response rates lower than paper-based surveys?
Response rates may be lower when you don’t have a captive audience. Regardless, instructors may decide to conduct the online evaluations in the classroom when the window is open – just the same as with paper evaluations. Students can use their smart phones, laptops, tablets, or use a computer lab. Either way, studies show that online response rates are similar to paper when a culture of participation has been cultivated and all evaluations are conducted in the same manner.

Are online evaluations as accurate as paper evaluations?
Studies show that even with lower response rates, online and paper evaluations have statistically similar results. The larger the class, the fewer responses you need for a valid assessment.

Do online evaluations result in lower scoring?
Studies show this is a myth. Lower-performing students do not respond more often to online surveys than paper ones; online evaluations do not skew results! In fact, there is slightly more evidence that higher-performing students are more apt to respond to online surveys. In addition, studies indicate that students who complete evaluations online are more likely to include substantive written feedback that directly relates to the scores they submit. Why? Typing is easier than writing? No fear of handwriting analysis? More time to create a thoughtful response? Whatever the reason, the research supports that students provide more thoughtful, open responses using online evaluations.

The references below are not endorsed by the University, but are included here to provide general information on this topic.

References, Studies, and Summaries and Additional information