How Online Course Evaluations Help Improve Instructional Course Quality

March 16, 2022 Watermark Insights

The importance of course evaluations lies in faculty members at the institutional level being able to leverage student responses to improve the quality of their course offerings. Online evaluations present a unique design approach that pushes for student-centered learning while helping instructors focus on the most effective methods of connecting students with engagement opportunities, activities, and content.

Benefits of Online Course Evaluations

Institutions enjoy many benefits when transitioning to an online course evaluation system. Instead of having students fill out paper-based course evaluations, using a web-based evaluation system can provide the following advantages:

  • A culture of continuous improvement: One of the most significant benefits of online course evaluations is their ability to convey poignant remarks from students to faculty. When given more freedom to respond openly and confidentially, students may point out vital considerations to influence policy changes down the road.
  • Environmentally sound initiatives: Online course evaluations help you save money by reducing paper costs while also contributing to your institution's image of being green.
  • Quicker results: Institutional Research department members can deliver information quicker using online course evaluations.
  • Strategic benefits: Instructors can spend more time on strategic projects rather than on manually creating and distributing course evaluations.

How to Use Online Course Evaluations to Improve Course Quality

Tips for using online course evaluations to bolster student learning outcomes include:

  • Set the stage: Creating a positive, stimulating atmosphere facilitates learning and gives students more opportunities to collaborate and learn from one another.
  • Create assignments to enhance learning: Structure assignments into smaller blocks that build on each other and avoid giving busywork. Consider starting with assignments that provide more opportunities for success and sharing feedback so students can build up their confidence before taking on more complex tasks.
  • Emphasize what's important: Provide a written or verbal summary of the top takeaways from each virtual module and continue to repeat key concepts. Allow students to share feedback and observations during course discussions.
  • Respond: Online correspondence allows for speedy, comprehensive responses to student questions or comments in emails or discussions. Try replying in various communication formats — email, video, and audio — and keeping correspondence cordial. Helping students feel comfortable answering questions and making mistakes will encourage more participation from the class as a whole. Additionally, online course evaluations allow you to keep students notified of changes as well as establish boundaries around response times.

Case Studies

Advances in technology make it possible to obtain valuable data via course evaluations to meet various needs at the institutional level.

At Watermark, our Faculty Success (formerly Digital Measures) and Course Evaluations & Surveys (formerly EvaluationKIT) assist faculty efforts to improve instructional quality continuously. See for yourself how Baylor University and other institutions have seen success using Watermark solutions.

Improve Instructional Quality With Watermark Course Evaluations & Surveys and Faculty Success

Watermark's solutions help you gather and share insights from your institution's data when it's time for collaboration across campus in assessment planning, curriculum strategy, annual reviews, or accreditation reporting. Our tools allow you to glean insights from data so you can make campus-wide decisions that impact your students' success. Together, Course Evaluations & Surveys and Faculty Success can help institutions assess faculty and collect data based on student evaluations.


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