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Friday, June 19 • 10:45am - 11:15am
CON12.11 - Online evaluation of courses: Examining impact on participation rates and evaluation scores

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At one of Ontario’s largest Universities, course evaluations involve some 6,000 course sections and over 43,000 students every year. This paper-based format requires over 650,000 sheets of paper, 20,000 envelopes, and the support of dozens of administrative staff members. Stemming from an interest in efficiency, environmental sustainability and reduced cost, this university is seeking to join numerous other Canadian institutions in adopting an online system for the evaluation of courses. Among the greatest concerns identified in the literature on the online evaluation of courses is the decrease in student participation (Adams & Umbach, 2012). Most studies on the subject point to a lower participation rate for online evaluation as compared with paper-based evaluations (Gamliel & Davidovitz, 2005; Nevo, McClean & Nevo, 2010). Lower participation rates in course evaluations raises questions which include: How representative are the students who complete the questionnaire compared with the overall student body taking the course? Might lower achieving students and those least satisfied with the course be overrepresented when using an online evaluation format? This presentation seeks to address these issues by presenting the results of a recent institutional report on the impact of the online evaluation of courses on student participation rates and on the evaluation scores as compared with the paper-based method. The session is largely structured as a presentation of salient report results with participant discussion throughout. All documents and materials will be provided in both English and French.


Adams, M. J. D. & Umbach, P.D. (2012). Nonresponse and Online Student Evaluations of Teaching: Understanding the Influence of Salience, Fatigue, and Academic Environments, Research in Higher Education, 53(5), 576-591.

Gamliel, E. & Davidovitz, L. (2005). Online versus traditional teaching evaluation: mode can matter, Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 30(6), 581-592.

Nevo, D., McClean, R. & Nevo, S. (2010). Harnessing Information Technology to Improve the Process of Students’ Evaluations of Teaching: An Exploration of Students’ Critical Success Factors of Online Evaluations, Journal of Information Systems Education, 21(1), 99-109.

Friday June 19, 2015 10:45am - 11:15am PDT
Cypress 1 Room

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