Response Rates

Most colleges and universities now administer course evaluations online. They have used one or more of the following strategies to ensure high response rates:

  • encouraging or requiring instructors to reserve time during the penultimate or final class meeting for students to complete evaluations on their laptop or mobile device;
  • encouraging instructors to explain to their students:
    • that they are expected to complete the course evaluation as part of their general responsibilities for the course;
    • that their responses are confidential and instructors will be unable to link ratings or comments to specific students;
    • that student feedback is valued and is used to make constructive changes to teaching methods, course content, and course format;
    • that the average numerical results are shared with students in order to help them make more informed decisions when selecting courses; and
    • sending regular email reminders to instructors and students prior to and during the evaluation period.

A more detailed set of strategies used by other institutions has been prepared by the Office of Academic Assessment and can be shared upon request.

 

Survey Administration
  • Timeframe
    • For regular 14-week courses:
      • Evaluations will become available at 12:00 a.m. on the Monday of the penultimate week of classes and will remain open for approximately two weeks, until the end of the day on Reading Day. 
      • Grade rosters will open on the first day of the final exam period, and grades will be released to students within the same day they are submitted by the instructor. 
    • For courses of shorter duration (e.g., 7 weeks, 3 weeks), the University Registrar will work out an appropriate schedule with the sponsoring school.   
    • This schedule ensures (a) that instructors can reserve time on the last day of class (or any other day during the evaluation period) for students to complete the survey using their laptops or mobile devices; (b) that students have an additional day after the end of classes to complete course evaluations; and (c) per the adjunct contract, that students are not able to complete course evaluations after having received their semester grades.
  • Carve-outs: 
    • Schools may exempt courses where student anonymity cannot be guaranteed because of class size and may request that course evaluations remain unpublished for classes taught for the first time by a particular instructor.  Carve-outs will be kept to a minimum.

 

Internal Access to Full Results (numerical data plus comments)
  • All data related to Course Evaluations will be stored in Albert SIS for immediate access and UDW+ for detailed reporting.
  • Instructor Access: Instructors will have access to full evaluation results for their class via Albert Faculty Center. These results will not, however, be released to instructors until they have submitted grades for all students enrolled in the class.
    • Co-taught Courses: All instructors co-teaching a class will have access via Albert Faculty Center to full evaluation results for all class-specific questions; but each instructor will have access only to his or her own instructor-specific results/comments. 
  • School and Department Access: Specific users designated by the Dean will have access via UDW+ to full evaluation results for all courses taught within their school. Department chairs and program directors (e.g., Directors of Undergraduate Studies) will also have access to evaluation data via UDW+, but only for courses taught within their unit. These users (at both the school and department levels) will have access to course evaluation data even for classes for which the instructor has not yet submitted all grades (and would not, therefore, be able to view the results on Albert Faculty Center). Finally, they will have access to all courses, regardless of location, that are sponsored by the relevant school or department, including courses offered at the global sites.
    • Combined Sections: For combined sections (i.e., cross-listed classes), the sponsor school/department will have access to full evaluation results for both sections. The non-sponsor school/department will need to request evaluation data from the sponsor school/department.
      • For combined sections at the global sites, Global Programs will give access to full evaluation results to both the sponsor and the non-sponsor school.
  • Global Programs Access: Administrators in Global Programs will have access via UDW+ to full course evaluation data for classes offered at all Global Academic Centers, and Site Directors will have access (also via UDW+) to this level of detail only for classes at their site.  

 

Public Access to Limited Results (average numerical data only)
  • All members of the NYU community (students, faculty, and staff) will have access to limited course evaluation results from across the undergraduate schools (and participating graduate schools), via Albert.
  • Numerical data for the seven common questions will be published on this page; qualitative evaluation comments will be excluded.
  • Timeframe
    • Limited results results for course evaluations administered via the new system will be published 30-60 days after the end of the semester. 
    • No results will be published for a class until all grades for enrolled students have been submitted. [Similarly, as noted above (under “Internal Access to Full Results”), instructors will not have access to their full evaluation results (including comments) until they submit all grades.] 
    • These results will remain publicly available on the Registrar-maintained web page for 5 years. (All course evaluation data will, however, be archived.)
  • Calculation of published results: 
    • All submitted results will be included in calculations, with no adjustments (e.g., omitting outlying scores), weights, or curves.
  • Consistency of published results: 
    • Schools may elect to adjust course evaluation data for their own internal purposes; but these data may not be published and/or made available to students. 
      • Those schools that have historically published course evaluation data may keep those past results available on their own websites even after moving over to the new system; but it must be made clear to users that these past results were obtained using a different questionnaire, platform for administration, and (where applicable) calculation method.
  • Carve-outs: 
    • Schools may request that results not be published for (a) classes of fewer than five students, (b) classes in which, by their nature, anonymity is not possible; or (c) courses taught for the first time by a particular instructor.