Each semester, additional departments and programs in Oberlin’s College of Arts & Sciences and Conservatory of Music begin using SmartEvals to collect end of semester student evaluations of courses and teaching. The links below will lead faculty new to the SmartEvals system to information about the on-line delivery of course evaluations. The rest of this page provides some background information on SmartEvals and a couple tips for effectively using them.
The system is designed to automatically send out emails to all students and faculty who have courses that are being evaluated using the on-line system. Initial emails are sent 1 week before the last day of classes. Faculty and students are sent directly to Blackboard to access their evaluations. The relevant course does not need to be available or used in Blackboard. Access to the evaluations is through a separate tab titled ‘Survey.’ A second email is sent 3 days later with direct links to the surveys as well as the directions for accessing the surveys via Blackboard. Two more emails will be sent to students before the surveys close.
Recommendations for Getting Response Rates to your Course Evaluations:
It would be very helpful if you set aside five minutes at the beginning of class to speak with students about the evaluation process. Mentioning the following items will greatly increase your chances of success:
- Tell students that the evaluation period has begun.
- Tell students that they will receive emails which will allow them to complete the surveys.
- Log into MyEvalCenter and click the “QR codes” link for your class(es). Print the page that is then displayed and distribute it to your students. Using their mobile devices, they can scan the code and complete the evaluation right in class!
- Give students a few specific examples of how you used feedback from past course evaluations.# example: “Last semester the evaluations said I should make better use of the course website, and that is why this year I have been posting notes online.”
- Tell students that their responses are completely anonymous and that teachers will only see results after grades are released.
Going over this information at the start of the evaluation period will set the stage for a strong response rate in your class and for Oberlin College as a whole.
Below is a sample of the initial email that was sent to students.
Oberlin College is testing an on-line system to collect student evaluations of teaching (i.e. course evaluations). At least one of your courses is included in the test of on-line evaluations. Other than being available on-line, the evaluation forms for courses included in this test have the familiar mix of agree-disagree selections and opportunities for prose comments. On-line course evaluations are, like paper course evaluations, completely anonymous, and your instructor will not have access to them until they have submitted their final grades. The on-line evaluation forms for the selected courses will be available throughout the last week of classes and the Reading Period.
Student course evaluations are important to your instructor, to departments, and to the College of Arts and Sciences. Faculty use their evaluations to assess course effectiveness, and instructors regularly revise course organization, approach, and content in response to feedback on course evaluations. Departments and the College consider student evaluations of teaching in faculty personnel decisions such as tenure and promotion. Thus, we ask that you answer each question thoughtfully and honestly. Student comments are especially valuable; we encourage you to write prose comments where appropriate.
If you have any technical issues or any comments about the process, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to preview a course’s evaluation.
How to add questions to your student evaluations (not currently implemented)
How to send out a reminder email to students that have not filled out the evaluations.
How to find your student evaluations.
How to access the results of your student evaluations.