The Transition of Course Evaluations to the Online Environment

In August 2010, Ann Arbor’s Office of Evaluations and Examinations (E&E), which administered the paper-based Teaching Questionnaire system, notified our campus that it would discontinue processing paper-based, end-of-term student course evaluations for UM-Flint courses effective fall 2011. (The Ann Arbor campus transitioned to a paperless, online system in 2008.)

In September 2010, Provost Gerard Voland asked Associate Provost Vahid Lotfi to lead a task force to identify a single system that could meet all of the student/course evaluation needs of the UM-Flint campus.  Each of the four academic units appointed a faculty representative; they were joined by two staff members from the Office of Extended Learning who had already been searching for a program to replace labor-intensive Blackboard surveys. 

The Task Force researched various solutions and indentified six software products for further review.  The numerous features, capabilities and benefits of those programs were listed in a comparative matrix available to all faculty via Blackboard.  Three programs were then selected for campus-wide demonstrations, with the selection of CoursEval by consensus of AAAC and governing faculty.

The pilot, replicating the paper surveys used by the respective departments, ran during the spring 2011 semester and the program was fully implemented in fall 2011.