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Why Should You Consider Student Course Evaluation Surveys?

Why Should You Consider Student Course Evaluations Surveys?

Educators need to know how satisfied students are with the learning experience and outcome. Student course evaluation forms determine whether a course or an instructor is effective.

The forms contain questions designed to understand students’ satisfaction with the course structure, teaching style, and overall learning experience.

Student course evaluation surveys are mostly conducted at the end of a course or curriculum. It keeps students at the center of feedback because the quality of courses and respective faculties directly impacts them. Let’s see the advantages of student course evaluation and how to make them more effective.

Advantages Of Student Course Evaluation

Encourage self-reflection

Student course evaluation encourages self-reflection among students and faculty. Feedback must be based on honest and meaningful self-reflection on students’ learning progress. Faculty can take cognizance of their mistakes and achievements based on student course evaluation results.

Promote accountability

A teacher’s job doesn’t end with teaching. Teachers are held accountable for bad learning experiences or substandard learning outcomes through student course evaluation. The faculty and educators can then see how dedicated a teacher is to teach a course and foster accountability among them.

Guide curriculum development

Student course evaluation results serve as a guide for authorities and organizations responsible for developing curriculums. To make the most effective changes to the organization and quality of courses and curricula, the National Curriculum Development Board of the country relies heavily on authentic student course surveys.

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What Questions To Ask In Student Course Evaluation?

Student course evaluation questions can be divided into three categories:

1. Instructor Specific questions

These questions focus on the role of instructors and how effective they were in helping students to learn. Understanding how students feel about an instructor is important for an educator or instructor.

Some essential questions in this category are as follows.

  • Was the instructor well prepared to teach the course?
  • Did the instructor show interest in helping students to learn the course?
  • How often did you receive performance feedback from the instructor regarding your understanding of the course?

There are five possible responses to these questions.

  1. Almost always
  2. Frequently
  3. Sometimes
  4. Rarely
  5. Almost never

These responses denote a certain level of satisfaction. From top to bottom, student satisfaction goes decreasing. 

2. Course Material-Specific Questions

These questions are designed to understand how students rate the course material. From lectures to tests and assignments, course material contains all these provided to the students.

Here are some important questions related to the course material.

  • The course design helped me understand the underlying concepts.
  • The lectures, tests, and assignments complement each other.
  • Course material increased my knowledge of the subject matter.

You can design these questions as MCQ or drop-down matrix questions with the following options.

  1. Strongly agree
  2. Agree
  3. Neither agree nor disagree
  4. Disagree 
  5. Strongly disagree

3. Course Structure-Specific Questions

These questions are designed to evaluate the effectiveness of the course structure. Education authorities and institutes can tweak the course structure on the basis of student responses to these questions.

Here are some essential questions/feedback deriving statements in this category:

  • I gained the confidence to do more advanced work in this field as a result of taking the course.
  • I believe what I’m learning in this course is important.
  • If I had to recommend this course to another student, I would do so without hesitation.

To make your respondents’ experience easier, you can collect responses with such answer choices.

  1. Strongly agree
  2. Agree
  3. Neither agree nor disagree
  4. Disagree 
  5. Strongly disagree

4. General/Overall Survey Questions

Lastly, general survey questions try to understand students’ overall satisfaction with the course.

Important general/overall survey questions/feedback-deriving statements are as follows:

  1. I would recommend this course to other students.
  2. This course met my overall expectations.
  3. Taking this course helped me progress toward my degree.

To make your respondents’ experience easier, you can collect responses with such answer choices.

  1. Strongly agree
  2. Agree
  3. Neither agree nor disagree
  4. Disagree 
  5. Strongly disagree

How To Make Effective Student Course Evaluation

Focus on clarity

Ensure questions are clearly written and not ambiguous or open to interpretation. Since students are not well-versed in understanding nuanced questions, it’s always better to keep the questions short, simple, and specific.

Keep it neutral

Using yes/no questions will limit students’ ability to give neutral answers. Instead, you can ask the extent to which students would rate their experience of a particular course. This would allow students to actually think deeply about their experiences and give a comprehensive rating instead of a leading answer.

Maintain anonymity

Students mostly avoid upsetting their teachers. If students can be identified by their responses, then they would be less likely to give honest feedback. Identity protection is the only way students can feel comfortable expressing their opinions.

RELATED: Anonymous Vs Confidential Surveys: Which Is Better To Use?

Be on time

Students are most likely to give useful feedback right after the course ends. Doing a student course evaluation survey right after the course end should be a priority. Thus the faculty would have enough time to gather and process student responses to make necessary changes in the course.

Conclusion

Student course evaluation can be constructive in improving course structure, teaching material, and instruction. Getting timely feedback from students is essential to achieve this goal. Keeping the course evaluations clear and anonymous can increase their effectiveness.

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