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Faculty Fast Facts



Announcements

  • The University of Maryland made some improvements to CourseEvalUM in Summer and Fall 2017. Click here to learn more about our accomplishments and upcoming plans.


Evaluation Logistics

Inclusion: CourseEvalUM is the official University-wide online evaluation system, authorized by the University Senate. Results are used for improving teaching and learning at Maryland as well as for instructor review and course assignment. All credit-bearing course sections that are not flagged in SIS as Individual Instruction courses (e.g. internships, student teaching) are expected to be evaluated. A small number of classes that end very early during the semester or after it is over also will not be evaluated. Beginning Fall 2016, course sections with fewer than five enrolled students will be evaluated, but reports for these small sections will not be generated to protect student anonymity.

In order for a course to be evaluated, at least one person must be assigned to the course via SIS as instructor of record, other instructor, or TA. Department schedulers may indicate whether additional instructional personnel beyond the lead instructor should be excluded from evaluation.

Timing: Evaluations occur on a rolling basis based on the duration of the course and its end date. Evaluation dates are set using the following logic and cannot be manually overridden.


table of date logic

Promotional Materials

A series of promotional materials has been developed for CourseEvalUM. Faculty, staff, and student groups are encouraged to use the flyers provided here to promote student participation.

There are two types of flyers, one to be posted during the evaluation period (Submit Evaluations Today) and another focused on culture change and awareness messages to be posted year-round (Speak Up Campaign, 4-series).

Speak Up Campaign (materials to post year-round):

Submit Evaluations Today(materials to post during submission periods):

If you would like to receive hard copies of these flyers or posters, lawn signs (Submit Evaluations Today), or related materials, please send your request to CourseEvalUM@umd.edu.

Viewing Results

The system provides instructors access to the reports for the specific course sections they were evaluated using CourseEvalUM (this depends on the individual being flagged in the course as an instructor and as evaluate=yes and the dates falling within the evaluation period). Instructors will be able to see results for both administrator and student items on the evaluation, whereas administrators see only the administrator items.

Results from Summer 2014 forward are available from the CourseEvalUM website under "Login to CourseEvalUM". After logging in, browse or search within the Reports section of your dashboard. Reports are generated after the end of the semester (in order to include all sections in department and college averages) and after the Registrar's Office grade calculation date (in order to include grade distributions in reports).

Results from course evaluations completed using our previous online system are available from the CourseEvalUM website under "View Results in Legacy System (Fall 2007 - Spring 2014)". At this time, students can see results from the previous system and the current system from Fall 2015 forward. They only see results for the student items, and then only if 70% or more of the students enrolled in that course section participated in the evaluation.

Our methodology report explains the calculations used in results reporting.

If you need further assistance accessing reports for courses you taught, please email CourseEvalUM@umd.edu.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why isn't the course I taught being evaluated?
Individual Instruction courses (e.g., internship, independent study, student teaching) are excluded as not well suited for such evaluation. Additionally, some courses that end very early or very late in the semester may not be evaluated. Courses whose term designation don't match the typical term may not be evaluated (e.g. a Fall course that ends in April). If all instructors and TAs in a course are flagged in SIS as not to evaluate, the course will not be evaluated. Please be in touch with us if you think there has been an error.
 
Why can I not see a report for a course I taught that was evaluated?
In order for an instructor, TA, or administrator report to be generated, at least five students must have been enrolled in the course. This protects the confidentiality and anonymity of student responses. In the future, it may be possible to aggregate student responses across multiple semesters in order to meet the minimum threshold. If the instructor was not included in the evaluation due to being flagged as not evaluate, they will not have a report to view. Instructors who do not have a current active appointment at UMD will not be able to access the system and can request that their department send them a PDF of the administrator view report.

How do I monitor the response rate for the courses I'm teaching?
Live, on-demand response rates are available by section for instructors within CourseEvalUM. After logging in, select a section's Subject View Management task from the Tasks section of your dashboard.

How do I know which results students or administrators see?
You can view the list of University-wide items under Survey Items. Students see only results for their specific items; administrators see the university items and the college and/or department items as applicable.

May I require or give extra credit to students in my class to complete their course evaluation?
Since course evaluations do not assess how students learn course material, their completion cannot be required as part of a grade in a course. For the same reason, instructors should not grant extra credit for completing a course evaluation. Alternative ways to encourage students to complete their course evaluation and provide meaningful feedback include:
  • Provide time in class for students to complete them, using a computer, tablet, or mobile device.
  • Discuss how you have used past feedback to improve course content, assignments, or teaching practices.
  • Ask students to provide specific feedback in the comments about a topic that interests you.
 
I am teaching a winter term course. Will it be evaluated?
Winter term courses are being evaluated with the Winter project running from around Jan. 2 through around Jan. 25. Courses whose evaluation dates would fall outside of that time frame are not being evaluated.

My question wasn't answered; where else can I go for help?
If you encounter any problems or need help getting into the system, please contact the OIT Faculty/Staff Help Desk at http://www.helpdesk.umd.edu or 301.405.1500. If you have a question about something other than access to the system, please email CourseEvalUM@umd.edu.
  • There are 16 standard University-wide items in the system. When a TA is evaluated, there are an additional 4 standard University-level items. View all of the University-level items.
  • 8 of the 16 standard items are student-interest items, with results viewable only by students and the course instructor. One of the items is being piloted and results are not yet being shared.
  • 8 of the 16 standard University-wide items are administrative-view items, with results viewable only by designated administrators (e.g., chair, dean, provost, APT committee members) and by you as the course instructor.
  • Results of the TA items are visible to the TA who was evaluated, the the faculty instructor who also was evaluated for that course section, and authorized administrators as above. Results of college-specific items display for the course instructor and administrators but not for students.
  • Colleges and departments may choose to add items to be included for courses they sponsor. Results of college- and department-specific items are viewable by the course instructor and administrators but not students.

Implementation

  • Each college has a Course Evaluation Liaison who works closely with IRPA in the implementation of the process. They can guide you regarding operations and implementation questions you may have (e.g., how do you get more than one person evaluated for a course, where do you find the dates for the next evaluation process).

Results

  • Results of the evaluations are summarized, with comments included exactly as submitted, and then posted. Responses are confidential; the system does not provide detail to instructors or college administrators identifying who submitted evaluations and who did not.
  • Instructors can view results for all items (administrator and student items, plus college and/or department items as applicable) for courses they taught.
  • TAs can view results for the four TA-specific items for courses they taught.
  • Authorized administrators (e.g., deans, chairs, provost, APT committee can view evaluation results for administrator items (items 9-16), plus college and/or department items as applicable.
  • Students can view results for the student items (items 1-8) if 70% or more of students registered for the course submitted an evaluation for that course. Currently item 8 is considered a pilot and not shared with students. If that question is verified, student data will be updated to see it. Currently for the new system, we have only been able to build Fall 2015 forward but are working on the older terms and hope to have them for students by the end of Spring 2018.
  • An IRPA study using Spring 2009 CourseEvalUM data indicated that the response rate for CourseEvalUM submissions explains less than 1% of the variance in the instructor scores. View results of that study.
  • The methodology report explaining the calculations used in results reporting is available for review.

Communication

  • We need instructors' support for this process to succeed! Please be sure to emphasize to your students the importance of this process and call on them to take it seriously.
  • Instructors will receive an e-mail notice prior to the start of every course's evaluation period, announcing its opening.
  • All students registered for courses being evaluated will be invited by email to complete an evaluation. Students who add the course after the end of schedule adjustment will be invited, as long as the evaluation period for the course has not closed. Students who drop the course will no longer be invited to evaluate it.
  • Students will receive reminders periodically throughout the evaluation period for courses in which they have not yet completed an evaluation.

Syllabus Language

Faculty members may choose to provide a link from their syllabi to the Office of Undergraduate Studies' course-related policies website, which includes a section about course evaluations.

Methodology

In September 2009 IRPA conducted a study using Spring 2009 CourseEvalUM data. The study indicated that the response rate for CourseEvalUM submissions explains less than 1% of the variance in the instructor scores. Investigating the Relationship Between Response Rates and Evaluation Ratings in CourseEvalUM

In February 2009 IRPA conducted phone interviews with over 100 faculty whose regular and large lecture courses had very high participation rates in the fall, and with 100 students who submitted no fall 2008 evaluations. The results of those interviews, including best practice tips for boosting student participation are available. View Interview Results.

The methodology report explaining calculations used in reporting is available for review. View Methodology Report.


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