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Course Evaluations - New System Questions Answered

Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to the Frequently Asked Questions page about the CourseEvalUM system. If you don't see your question answered here? Please email CourseEvalUM@umd.edu.

    Where can I find response rates for all campus courses for the current term?

    Live response rate information is available to the instructors through their CourseEvalUM access or through Canvas.

    A list of courses and their response rates is routinely updated and also available at the Participation Rates page.

    What are some of the features?

    Blue offers a number of advantages we are excited about, including: mobility via smart phones and tablets, permitting in-class submissions; rolling end dates of evaluations for non-standard term courses; access in ELMS Canvas; and more reporting options.

    How are the department and college means determined in the new system and how does that differ from historic evaluation reports through Spring 2014?

    Previously, item means for a college or department were calculated by averaging the mean response on each instructor (or TA) item in a section, and this single mean on the item contributed to the department or college mean even when there were multiple instructors (or TAs) in the section. Thus for a 2 instructor course, only a single entry for the course (and average of the 2 instructors) was used to calculate the department or college mean.

    Blue eXplorance utilizes each mean response on each instructor item for each instructor in a section separately to calculate the department and college mean. Thus, in Blue eXplorance, for a 2 instructor course, there will be 2 separate entries used for the calculation of the department or college mean of instructor items. You can see in this example for a single question:

    Course 1 - Teacher 1 - AVG:5
    Course 1 - Teacher 2 - AVG:4
    Course 2 - Teacher 1 - AVG:4
    Course 3 - Teacher 1 - AVG:3
    Course 3 - Teacher 2 - AVG:3

    In the historic system, the department average if all these courses was in the same department was the average of the three courses which would be 4.5, 4, 3 divided by 3 which would give 3.83333.

    Blue is taking the averages 5,4,4,3,3 divided by 5 which would give 3.8

    Blue eXplorance treats each section as a single entry in the department and college mean for the course items. This matches the previous system and prevents a course with several instructors or TAs creating a bias in the course questions.

    Will access to the system be different?

    You will still use your directory ID and password to log into the system through the University-run Central Authentication Service. Access to submit an evaluation remains available at www.CourseEvalUM.umd.edu under Take Evaluations. Access has been added to ELMS Canvas.

    Will the questions change?

    The University-wide course, instructor, and TA items as well as the college and department items already in place continue forward in the new system. Additions or changes will be made as requested.

    Will the form look the same?

    The format is somewhat different but the question arrangement is the same.

    Will I still get an email telling me my course is open for evaluation?

    Yes! When an evaluation opens for your course, CourseEvalUM will send an email notice to your official university email address. Make sure your address is up to date via Testudo at the start of each term. Both students and instructors (including TAs) will get the notices. If one course ends in October and others in December, notices will be sent at each point in time.

    I heard that in the new system evaluations open and close at different times based on course start and end dates. How do I know when evaluations for my courses will open or close?

    Evaluations open and close based on a calculation of the duration of the course (e.g. 2 weeks, 15 weeks) and the official start and end dates listed for the course. You can check the CourseEvalUM.umd.edu site to see your courses listed when they are open. Before that you can check the course lists and look at the start and end dates for the course and section.
    The logic for the dates is below
    Evaluation ends on the day after the term ends for normal Fall/Spring courses, the day before the last day of class for shorter courses, and will start around 75 or 80 percent of the course

    I got an email reminder to complete my evaluation but when I logged in, there was a message that said there were no tasks to complete. What's wrong?

    The system only displays a task, in this case a "Form Fill Out" (evaluation) when it is available to be completed. If you miss the deadline it will not be available or display in your dashboard. We are working with the product to see if it can display your closed, open, and not yet open evaluations (Form Fill Out) for the entire semester.

    When will reports be available and how will I know?

    Reports are currently available approximately several weeks after the grade calculate date for that term. Once we get some more enhancements in place, we reports can be made available about a week after the grade calculate date. When reports for the most recent term are available, instructors and authorized academic administrators are notified by email from CourseEvalUM. For now, students have access to the reports from Fall 2007 through Spring 2014 in the old system at www.CourseEvalUM.umd.edu and for most of the Blue terms via Canvas with the plan to fully implement student reporting in Spring 2018.

    Will the evaluation reports from Fall 2007 through Spring 2014 continue to be available? Will they show up in the new system, Blue eXplorance?

    Yes, the historic reports through Spring 2014 will continue to be available to authorized campus users. They can be accessed at ARES.umd.edu and at CourseEvalUM.umd.edu as they have always been. We do not have a plan to move the old reports to Blue.

    How was Blue eXplorance chosen?

    A formal process requesting and reviewing proposals was coordinated by Procurement with the required evaluation team from IRPA and the Division of IT after initial input from the colleges through the Course Evaluation Advisory Group. Additional representatives from key groups (IRPA, DivIT, SGA, faculty, college academic administration) provided feedback to the evaluation team.

For more information, visit the Course Evaluation Project Website.

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