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Course Evaluations

The end of semester course evaluation process is one of many tools used to advance Tulane’s teaching and learning mission. Course evaluations provide valued formative feedback for instructors and empower students to reflect on their academic experiences. Course evaluations also play a role in the assessment of faculty teaching effectiveness.

Academic Year 2020-2021 Announcement: The course evaluation instrument and software used to administer the evaluations are new. Please see below for detailed information about these changes.

Questions? Please contact the Office of Assessment & Institutional Research (courseeval@tulane.edu).

University-Wide Course Evaluation Questions

Beginning in Fall 2020, all course evaluations consist of six core questions recommended by the Course Evaluation Task Force (see the Course Evaluation Task Force section for more details) as well as one open-ended question to allow for student comments. Schools and Departments may append additional questions, selected from the newly developed “question bank,” to address the evaluation topics specific to their programs and initiatives. 

Core Questions
Scale:
Strongly Agree; Agree; Neither Agree nor Disagree; Disagree; Strongly Disagree

  • The class sessions helped me learn the course content.
  • The exams, papers, and/or projects reflected the learning outcomes/objectives listed on the syllabus.
  • I received meaningful feedback on my academic performance.
  • My knowledge of this course's subject has grown as a result of taking this course.
  • Overall, I would recommend this course.
  • Overall, I would recommend this instructor.

Open Ended Question
Please provide additional comments about your experience in this course.

School-Specific Course Evaluation Instruments

All course evaluations consist of a set of six scaled questions and one open-ended question (see the University-Wide Course Evaluation Questions section for more information). Schools have then appended additional questions for each of their School's courses. See below for each School's course evaluation instrument.

AY 2020-21 Course Evaluation Schedule

Most Spring 2021 course evaluations will be administered on the following schedule:

Evaluation Period Opens: April 20
Evaluation Period Closes: May 4 
Results Reports Available: May 26

Exceptions to this schedule include graduate and professional courses that are offered outside of the traditional 15-week academic schedule.

The Fall 2020 course evaluation period was November 16-29, with the Results Reports becoming available on December 18. 

EvaluationKIT Course Evaluation Software

Academic Year 2020-2021 course evaluations will be administered through a new software – EvaluationKIT. This software, and its integration with Canvas, allow for more flexibility and ease for users in many ways: including how students are reminded of course evaluations needing to be completed; how students can access those evaluations; how instructors can monitor responses rates; and how administrators, department chairs and instructors can run reports to view the results.

Student Access to Course Evaluations

Via Canvas: During the course evaluation period, students may access the course evaluation system directly through Canvas. A reminder to complete course evaluations is displayed on their Canvas dashboard which then brings them directly to the selected course evaluation.

Via Email: During the course evaluation period, students may also access the course evaluation system directly through the emails they receive reminding them to complete their remaining course evaluations. The emails provide students with their unique link to access the system at any time during the evaluation period. 

Via the Gibson Portal: EvaluationKIT may be accessed by logging into the Gibson portal, then clicking on the "Student" menu, and then click on "Course Evaluations" on the lefthand menu in the "Services" section.

Instructor and Administrator Access to Course Evaluations
Tracking & Response Rates

During the course evaluation period, response rates may be monitored in several ways:

Via Canvas: Instructors are able to monitor response rates directly through Canvas through the response rate tracker on their Canvas Course home page.

Via Email: Instructors periodically receive emails from the system providing updates on the response rates for each of their courses. In addition, the emails provide instructors with their unique link to access the system and monitor response rates at any time during the evaluation period. 

Via the Gibson Portal: EvaluationKIT may be accessed by logging into the Gibson portal, then clicking on the "Faculty" menu, and then click on "Course Evaluations" on the lefthand menu in the "Services" section. Once in the EvaluationKIT system, response rate information is available on the faculty dashboard. 

Accessing Results

List of Respondents: Once the course evaluation period closes, instructors are able to download a list of respondents for their courses with more than five completed evaluations.
Instructions for downloading a response roster are available through video or step-by-step directions.    

Results Reports: About two weeks after the end of the semester, course evaluation results reports are available in the EvaluationKIT system. The system may be accessed in several ways: 1) by logging into the Gibson portal, then clicking on the "Faculty" menu, and then click on "Course Evaluations" on the lefthand menu in the "Services" section,  2) through course home pages in Canvas, or 3) directly from the link provided in the email announcement that the results reports are available. 

Scripts for each of the instructional videos are available: List of Respondents; Instructor Access to Results Reports; and Administrator Access to Results Reports

Results from Past Years

Course evaluation reports for past years are available through contacting the Office of Assessment & Institutional Research (courseeval@tulane.edu).

Course Evaluation Task Force (2019-2020)

In Fall 2008, Tulane course evaluations began being administered centrally online. Over the years, individual schools and departments have both adapted and added questions to their course evaluations. This led to 168 different questions and 12 different rating scales used across the university’s course evaluations in Fall 2019.

The wide variety of instruments has posed challenges both for review at the university level and for administration of the evaluations. Further, it had been many years since course evaluations at Tulane had been reviewed in a comprehensive manner. As a result, in Fall 2019, Provost Robin Forman called for the formation of a Course Evaluation Task Force to develop a common course evaluation instrument to be used by all Tulane University courses. Members of the Task Force included faculty representatives from each of the schools, the Center for Engaged Learning and Teaching (CELT), and two committees of the University Senate, as well as three student representatives, and staff administrators.

In fulfillment of its charge, the Task Force recommended six core questions for all Tulane course evaluations. The recommendation included that the core questions may be supplemented by School and department questions to address the evaluation topics specific to their programs and initiatives.

Core Questions
Scale: Strongly Agree; Agree; Neither Agree nor Disagree; Disagree; Strongly Disagree

  • The class sessions helped me learn the course content.
  • The exams, papers, and/or projects reflected the learning outcomes/objectives listed on the syllabus.
  • I received meaningful feedback on my academic performance.
  • My knowledge of this course's subject has grown as a result of taking this course.
  • Overall, I would recommend this course.
  • Overall, I would recommend this instructor.

These recommendations were adopted for the administration of Fall 2020 course evaluations

Development of a "Question Bank" 
In addition to the set of core questions for all Tulane course evaluations, the Course Evaluation Task Force recommended that Schools and departments continue to have the ability to append additional questions to their course evaluations. However, in order to provide some consistency across evaluations a “question bank” for School administrators and department chairs to select their additional questions from was recommended. This recommendation has been adopted for the administration of Fall 2020 course evaluations.

As a result, the Office of Assessment & Institutional Research examined all 168 questions previously being asked on Tulane course evaluations, found the overlap in question themes and goals, and created a “question bank” of approximately 20 questions to address the common question themes. Beginning with the Fall 2020 course evaluation administration, all School-wide questions will be selected from the question bank. In Spring 2021, there will be the opportunity for departments to append additional questions from the question bank.

Development of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Specific Questions
The work of the Task Force included much discussion about possible questions addressing equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) on course evaluations. They recognized that this is a challenging task and that poorly designed questions can do more harm than good. Ultimately, the Task Force felt it critical for the university’s new Chief Diversity Officer to advise on EDI specific questions and recommended that questions be developed once the new Chief Diversity Officer arrived. As a result, Dr. Anneliese Singh (Associate Provost for Diversity & Faculty Development and Chief Diversity Officer), will be working with others to propose questions to be part of the course evaluation process in future semesters.