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European Distance Learning Week: Getting course evaluations ‘just right’

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Presentation of Dr Mark Nichols, Director of Technology Enhanced Learning, The Open University UK for the European Distance Learning Week's second day webinar on "Quality in open, online and technology enhanced learning"- 8 November 2016
Recordings of the discussion are available: https://eden-online.adobeconnect.com/p4vvgr2g7g4/

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European Distance Learning Week: Getting course evaluations ‘just right’

  1. 1. Getting course evaluations ‘just right’ Dr Mark Nichols Director, Technology Enhanced Learning The Open University, UK
  2. 2. Designing course evaluation Evaluation should… • Ask about only what’s needed to make a real difference • Be transparent and accessible to all who need it • Contribute to real improvements in courses • Focus on course-specific matters • Give representative views • Provide usable data, just the right amount Evaluation often is… • Overloaded with everyone’s area of interest • Hidden from key staff and students • Rationalised (poor responses are ‘explained away’) • Broad, addressing all forms of the student experience • Poorly responded to • Confused by too much information
  3. 3. An elegant course evaluation system Twelve questions, two parts • Part one: Simple, and quick to complete: 1. Please rate your overall learning experience in this course: Excellent, Good, Average, Poor, Very Poor (1 to 5) 2. What would you tell other students about this course? • Similar to how consumers now rate online products • High completion rates (~40%, double the previous rate) • Provides important clues as to the overall health of a course 3. Would you like to offer more feedback?
  4. 4. An elegant course evaluation system Twelve questions, two parts • Part two: Focus on key areas for those happy to provide more 4. Satisfaction with support from tutor (1 to 5) 5. Course content clear and well organised (1 to 5) 6. Queries answered within two working days (1 to 5) 7. What parts of your learning were most useful? (open text) 8. What parts of your learning could we improve? (open text) 9. I understood what was required of assessment(s) (1 to 5) 10. Course materials prepared me for assessment(s) (1 to 5) 11. Feedback from assessment(s) helped my learning (1 to 5) 12. Anything else you’d like to tell us? (open text)
  5. 5. Summary The system: • Focuses solely on the course experience, not the entire student experience • Encourages quick responses across areas of specific interest • Provides three levels of feedback – Part one identifies those courses that are doing well – Part two provides sufficient detail for action: 1 to 5 to identify areas of concern – Third level is all open text responses • Is fully electronic, and is very simple to administer • Is elegant and simple!