Making sense of your course evaluations

A: Your impressions of the course

Before you review your course evaluations, consider your own impressions of how the course went. What do you think worked well in the course? What not so well? What are you most pleased about? What would you do differently? Add? Remove? It is best if you do this exercise before you start to look at your course evaluations and while the course impressions are still fresh in your mind.

Create a list of successes and areas for improvement. Indicate why you think you had the successes you did and how you would plan to implement any improvements.

B: Characteristics of the instructor ratings

Looking at your evaluations, list the characteristics of the instructor that received the top three ratings and the lowest three ratings.

C: Comments on the instructor

Look at the students’ responses to the open-ended questions regarding the instructor and determine the comments which were mentioned most frequently. Categorize the comments as a strength or an area for improvement. List the 3 strengths which were mentioned most often and the 3 areas of improvement that were mentioned most often.

D: Summary of identified strengths and areas for development

Compare the lists from B and C. Are there any contradictions between the written comments and the quantitative data? If yes, what are they? List the three most representative strengths and three most representative areas of improvement.

E: Alignment of perceptions and feedback

Compare the lists from A and D. What do they have in common? What differences do you see? How do you account for your key strengths and the areas that need improvement? What about your course (e.g., small vs. large class size, required vs. elective course, etc.) and/or teaching (e.g., you are new to teaching or to teaching this course, etc.) helps to further explain your results?

F: Characteristics of the course ratings

Repeat A-E for the characteristics of the course.

G: What next

Based on all the above information, what strengths would you like to enhance or develop further for a future teaching term? What areas of development would you like to consider for a future teaching term? What will you do differently next time to leverage your strengths and improve your teaching?

If you have any questions about this process, please contact Monica Vesely, Centre for Teaching Excellence.

View Monica's Making Sense of Your Course Evaluations (PDF) Mathematics workshop presentation.