Guidelines for Departmental Administration of Forward FOCUS

Guidelines for Departmental Administration of Forward FOCUS

Fall 2022

For fall 2022 semester, departments and programs will have the option to choose Forward FOCUS as their departmental course evaluation. Please note the survey instrument a department elects will apply to all instructors (including graduate teaching associates and assistants) in a department. Faculty administering it must share the results with their department. Individual instructors cannot opt to use an alternative evaluation; however individual instructors in departments using SRTI may also administer Forward FOCUS to assist in course redesign.

Department heads/directors will receive email notification from the Office of Academic Planning and Assessment on asking them to confirm whether they would like to use Forward FOCUS or SRTI as their departmental course evaluation in September.

See additional information on our our FAQ page and the main Forward FOCUS page.

For further questions about departmental course evaluations and SRTI, please contact the OAPA at oapa@umass.edu.

 

Key Considerations for use of Forward FOCUS for departmental course evaluations

  • The Forward FOCUS is not centrally administered nor does the CTL have direct access to student responses. 
  • Departments decide and communicate to all instructors, including graduate teaching associates and assistants, timelines for implementation of the Forward FOCUS and how results are to be sent to departments.
  • Faculty must use the Forward FOCUS without modifying or deleting questions; however, departments can decide to add specific questions to all instructors' surveys. Departments must coordinate this process. For questions on how this has been done in other departments, contact ffocus@umass.edu.
  • Instructors must take action to make the survey available to students and collect responses. Instructions differ depending on whether faculty are using Moodle or Blackboard as their course management system (see below).

 

Directions for faculty using Forward FOCUS

The Forward FOCUS is available in Moodle or Blackboard, and as a Google Form [you must make a copy into your Google Drive folder].

Moodle directions to implement FOCUS

  1. First import the Forward FOCUS into your Moodle course. You may use this Moodle video guide or the Moodle written guide.
  2. Make the survey available to your students following step-by-step instructions in the Moodle written guide.

Blackboard directions to implement FOCUS

  1. Make the survey available to your students following step-by-step instructions in the Blackboard written guide 

Sending responses to your department

  1. After responses have been collected, the instructor must close the Forward FOCUS survey and then send responses to their departments. Please contact your department to ask in which format they would like the FOCUS results.
    • Note for department chairs and SRTI coordinators: Instructors can download responses as an excel file or a PDF.  Please note that by default, the downloaded responses will NOT include the instructor name, course number, or course title. See directions below to add instructor information to the FOCUS survey PDF on Moodle, and share with faculty if you would like them to do this.


To add instructor information to Forward FOCUS results on Moodle

On Moodle, a subtitle can be added to the first page of the results file so that the instructors can add any extra information there, like their name, course name, and semester. When they print the file, this will be listed on the first page.  

To edit the subtitle:

  1. Navigate to your Moodle course page and select the Questionnaire link (the Forward Focus Survey link). The questionnaire page will open.
  2. Select the Edit settings (cogwheel icon) on the right hand side. Select Advanced settings. The content options page will open. 
  3. Next to the Subtitle, enter the text you wish to add into the textbox. 
  4. Scroll to the bottom and select Save and return to course. 

When the instructor prints out the results, the subtitle will be on the the first page under the Forward FOCUS title.


To print out / download student responses to FOCUS

Moodle in the Cloud:

  • To print or download a PDF:
    1. On your course page, click the Name of the questionnaire. The Questionnaire summary page will open. 
    2. On the Questionnaire summary page click View All responses. The View All Responses page will open.
    3. On the View All Responses page, under the tabs click on either the PDF icon or Print icon to download the responses (see screenshot).
  • To download .csv file: choose “Choice text” ONLY

Blackboard:

  • To download a PDF via the print dialog: 
    1. From your Grade Center: Full Grade Center screen, find the column for your Forward Focus survey
    2. Click on the options arrow directly to the right of the column name and select Attempts Statistics
    3. From your browser options, select Print (the options menu is found in the top right corner of your browser window)
    4. The Print menu will open, containing a PDF preview option and the results can be printed from the window dialog
  • See instructions to download responses

For assistance downloading or printing responses to FOCUS, please email instruct@umass.edu.

For questions on making the Forward FOCUS available to teaching assistants, please see our FAQ page or contact IDEAS at instruct@umass.edu.


Forward FOCUS PRior to SPRING 2021

Transition to Moodle in the Cloud

Because instructor courses were transitioned to Moodle in the Cloud in Summer 2021, to access student responses to the Forward FOCUS prior to that date (e.g., Fall 2020), instructors must visit the Legacy Moodle site (moodle.umass.edu).

For assistance downloading responses to FOCUS, please email instruct@umass.edu.