Bogdan Prokopovych, Lecturer of Management, wanted to maximize student participation in his course evaluations, as well as to make the process meaningful both for his teaching and for his students learning about assessment practices in their industry. With a few simple changes to his approach to evaluations, he was able to get more students involved in the process, and get better feedback about teaching and learning in his course.
What motivated you to work on increasing your SRTI response rates?
I aim to use my SRTIs as an assessment tool that helps me assess my performance and continuously improve my classes. For SRTI to be such a tool, it needs to be representative of the class and not just "extreme values" from very positive short responses or from those students who didn't have a good experience in the class. This idea is related to one topic I cover in my classes, in fact: tools to help entrepreneurs and their stakeholders assess the performance of organizations with a social mission.
What is it you are doing?
I reached out to CTL for a consultation, and their advice has helped me streamline my process of administering SRTIs. Talking with CTL made me realize that some students may look at the SRTI evaluations as just another survey coming to their inbox. In class before administering SRTIs, I emphasize the importance of evaluations for organizations as tools that help them become better at delivering upon their mission. I also mention that practicing giving frank and constructive evaluation feedback may be good practice for their future careers, as they may be evaluating their colleagues and employees.
In the last class meeting, I lead a wrap-up discussion in which I give a brief overview of what we have covered in class. This occurs before a final Q&A regarding the end-of-the-class final deliverables and logistics. After that, I build in some time for students to complete the SRTI.
What has been the impact of this strategy on your teaching?
Last semester, my SRTI response rate increased to 90% in one class and to 80% in another, and I got higher-quality feedback from a larger range of students. Some of their suggestions helped me better plan my in-person classes this fall. For example, in one of my class activities where we use a database of patented inventions when discussing innovation in entrepreneurship, some of the students didn't realize that this tool could be used for their end-of-class projects. Now, when introducing and debriefing this class activity, I emphasize that this database is a practical tool that may help student teams improve the quality of their groups' deliverables.
What consideration or tips do you have for faculty?
In my case, it helped to carefully plan a time for students to complete the SRTI during class in order to increase the response rate. But more than that, I believe explaining to students the important role of the assessments in a way that is meaningful to them can help. For my students, that involved discussing the role of assessments as they relate to the performance of an organization, which helped them relate SRTIs to a topic in the course and helped them understand that their voice counts.