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On line review system for courses and instructors

Posted on May 30th, 2008 by Fran Myers, OLLI National Resource Center

Cathy House from University of Utah asks:

We are considering implementing an on line review system for our courses
and instructors. Students would be able to rate courses/instructors on
a handful of categories and also be able to leave comments like
strengths and drawbacks. The comments would be viewable by all students
to aid them in their decisions about which courses/instructors to take.

* Is your OLLI doing anything like this?
* What system do you use?
* What has been your experience with it?
* How have your members responded - what percentage use it, how is
it helpful to them?

3 Responses to “On line review system for courses and instructors”

  1. Cathy, I am sending you information to talk with two other OLLI at Brandeis people (off line). My brief answers are.

    * Is your OLLI doing anything like this? YES for about 4 years.

    * What system do you use? EBOARD (cost about $40/year)

    * What has been your experience with it? Excellent although, like everything, there is a learning curve and someone has to do the work to get all the proposals on the eboard — that’s our Curr Comm in our system.

    * How have your members responded - what percentage use it, how is it helpful to them?

    It is used only by the Curr Comm. and they really like it.

    Extra Notes:

    We’ve never put the “strengths and weaknesses” that come up on the eboard when the Curr Comm members review the proposals in a public place. The input from the committee is totally confidential.

    There is great efficiency to the eboard, although our Curr Comm does a lot of work to make the system work. Lots of paper saved. Lots of time copying and sending packages to Curr Comm members.


  2. Cathy, we are not doing this. I considered this about a year or two ago for our computer training classes and encountered some resistance to the idea, so I let it go. Gone, but not forgotten!

    I was planning to post our current evaluation form on SurveyMonkey. It has served us well. A link to the survey would be placed on the student PC’s desktop. Students could complete the eval in class. Instructors would get a link sent to their email address that would allow them to view the responses. We would save a lot of paper, instructors could access their own evals immediately, students could give relatively anonymous feedback. I also thought students could practice a skills (filling out forms online) that they would increasingly need and use. Surveymonkey compiles stats for you, saving us some time doing this.

    But I decided not to push this particular issue and so it remains an idea I’d like to try at some point. I imagine some of the ‘push back’ you’ll hear to this idea will be the ones I hear, including: “but what about the people who don’t have a PC?” and, “members are suspicious of (or don’t have the skills to) filling/accessing things out online.” I hope that if you pursue this idea, you’ll let me know what you did and how it worked!

  3. We have not implemented an online evaluation process. Not everyone uses the computer. We get almost a 100% return on paper evaluations on the last day of the class. They are valuable in that students suggest classes that they would like to see offered. The feedback on what they liked or didn’t like about the class helps us plan our future classes.

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