Please complete the following tasks using one set of course evaluations and bring the results to your consultation meeting for further discussion.
- When you review the evaluation data (quantitative and qualitative), what are your first impressions? What stands out for you?
- Identify key strengths.
- List the questions that received the top 3 quantitative scores (use mean scores if available).
- Read students’ responses to any open-ended questions that discuss strengths, and list the comments mentioned frequently (e.g., “really cares about students,” “tests are fair”). Then read the comments again, tallying the number of students who mention each item on your list. Rank the items, with the highest number being first, then focus on the top 3-5 items.
If you have a manageable number of forms, you may choose instead to enter all comments into a word processing file, and organize them according to themes that arise (e.g., attitude toward students, preparation, organization), then you can tally the responses that you listed under each theme to discover which ones were discussed most often and create your rankings from those numbers.
- Identify key areas to improve.
- List the questions that received the lowest 3 quantitative scores (use mean scores if available).
- Repeat the instructions for question 2b, except read the responses to the open-ended questions about areas to improve/changes to make.
- Analyze and reflect.
- How do you account for your key strengths and the areas that need improvement? What is it about your course and/or your teaching that helps to explain further your results? Be prepared to share specific strategies, behaviours, and/or attitudes that you feel led to the results of your evaluations.
- How, if at all, are you able to link the results from the quantitative responses to the qualitative responses?
- What strategies, behaviours, and/or attitudes will you definitely try to maintain in future courses?
- What will you try to change the next time you teach and how will you make the change(s)?
- Interpreting and Working with Your Course Evaluations (PDF). The Center for Teaching and Learning, Stanford University. This document pertains specifically to the course evaluation forms used at Stanford, but also provides advice that is more generally applicable.
- Student Evaluations of Teaching Effectiveness: Considerations for Ontario Universities (PDF). Mary Kelly, Wilfrid Laurier University.
- Student Course Evaluations: Research, Models and Trends (PDF). Summary of Student Course Evaluations: Research, Models and Trends (PDF) Pamela Gravestock and Emily Gregor-Greenleaf, Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario, 2008.
- Using Mid-Term Feedback. Centre for Teaching Excellence teaching tip sheet.
- The Torment of Teaching Evaluations. The Chronicle of Higher Education. March 24, 2003.
This Creative Commons license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon our work non-commercially, as long as they credit us and indicate if changes were made. Use this citation format: Using Course Evaluations to Improve Teaching and Learning. Centre for Teaching Excellence, University of Waterloo.