Online Student Ratings of Instruction: New Directions for Teaching and Learning, Number 96
This volume examines the development and growing use of online student ratings and the potential impact online rating systems will have on the future of students’ evaluations of teaching. The contributors demonstrate how the preference for online evaluation is growing, even amidst challenges and doubt. Sharing their first-hand experience as researchers and administrators of online systems, they explore major concerns regarding online student ratings and suggest possible solutions.
D. Lynn Sorenson and Christian M. Reiner review existing online-rating systems that have been developed independently across the globe. Kevin Hoffman presents the results of a national survey that tracks the increased use of the Internet for student ratings of instruction. At Northwestern University, Nedra Hardy demonstrates how ongoing research about online student evaluations is helping to dispel common misperceptions.
Application of online rating systems can present institutions with new challenges and obligations. Trav D. Johnson details a case study based on five years of research in the response rates for one university’s online evaluation system and suggests strategies to increase student participation. Reviewing online reporting of results of online student ratings, Donna C. Llewellyn explores the emerging issues of security, logistics, and confidentiality.
Other chapters explore existing online systems, highlighting their potential benefits for institution and instructor alike. Beatrice Tucker, Sue Jones, Lean Straker, and Joan Cole analyze Course Evaluation on the Web (CEW), a comprehensive online system for instructional feedback and improvement. Cheryl Davis Bullock reviews the Evaluation Online (EON) system and its successful role in facilitating midcourse student feedback.
The fate of online rating may rest in the unique advantages it may – or may not – have over traditional ratings systems. Debbie E. McGhee and Nana Lowell compare online and paper-based methods through mean ratings, inter-rater reliabilities and factor structure of items. Comparing systems from another angle, Timothy W. Bothell and Tom Henderson examine the fiscal costs and benefits of implementing an online evaluation system over paper-based systems.
Finally, Christina Ballantyne considers the prominent issues and thought-provoking ideas for the future of online student ratings raised in this volume. Together, the contributors bring insight and understanding to the processes involved in researching and initiating innovations in online-rating systems.
This is the 96th issues of the quarterly journal New Directions for Teaching and Learning.